What is worth mentioning first is the quote of Walt Whitman : " I swear I see what is better than to tell the best. It is always to leave the best untold."
...and there are a lot more, and better, but I leave them to you to uncover. And actually I believe the fortune of this book lies in its quoting. It is a collection of thousands of literary references and list of useful websites on travel abroad. Rolf was able to put together an immense amount of sources about travel, collected from a thick bibliography and sew them together in a beautiful coloured patchwork. I am literally bewitched by his ability to go far beyond the mere description of facts and uncover the deepest intricacy of human mind in relation to travel and discovery. And he does that with such an harmonious choice of words and smart narrative technic that keeps you glued to the book until you are done and then you want to start again. Probably to travel with him or just because you forgot a passage and you want to stick it to your mind like it was one of your own travel adventures. And if you love reading as I believe you do, the long list of books references will keep you busy for the next year at least. Those are text from which, you can tell, he draw inspiration and which enriches the content. It also offers you the chance to go deeper in your search of sources and make your own travel writing library. I'll certainly do so.
This is the first book I read about Rolf Pott and made me buy the second as soon as I heard it was published Marco Polo didn't go there : of course it didn't disappoint me either.
For whom is this book? I would suggest both books to all travel freaks but also for those aspiring writers. There is a lot to learn here.
" Travel after all is a form of asceticism, which (to quote Kathellen Norris) " is a way of surrendering to reduced circumstances in a manner that enhances the whole person. It is a radical way of knowing exactly who, what , and where you are, in defiance of those powerful forces in society that aim to make us forget. "
" if you really want to know about a country, work there" Charles Kuralt , Life on the road
"People say you have to travel to see the world. Sometimes I think that if you just stay in one place and keep your eyes open, you're going to see just about all that you can handle" - Paul Auster, SmokeREAD MORE
"In making reference to Aboriginal mysticism, I am not suggesting that the goal of vagabonding is to become whole. After all, wholeness implies closure, and vagabonding is an ongoing process of finding new things. You can, however discover parts of yourself- pshychic and emotional parts you never knew existed - as you travel through the world. And as you do this, you'll also leave being aspects of yourself-habits prejudices, even places of your heart.. Sticking the right balance between finding yourself and losing yourself on the road, of course, requires creativity."COLLAPSE