They were a collection of souvenirs, pertaining to a catastrophe that went un noticed in the hubbub of the mediatic revolutions of the last third of the twentieth century: the advent of a nature bere ft of promise. Hendnx's work Whlle It would be a mls take to approach Ihls work Irom the angle of an aesthetics 01 dlaspora Ior in hls case, the change 01 latilude responded lo no. Sill O I! Conlrary lo lhe more orthodox tenets 01Mexican official culture, loreigners have. I could 90 so lar as to say that to be-or even to speak like-a loreigner conslitules a basic ingredienl 01 the local value syslem, lor all thal il is undermined from lime lo time by the latenl xenophobia braided into the regime's.
He simply lound himsell having lo deal wilh a milieu and a socio-cultural code which for him, beyond Ihe privileges implied by being a European in this post-colonial -society, entailed no fixed symbolic stance. No doubt this is w hy his outlook on the country does not stem from abrace of sentimental illusions or prejudices, and has no truck Vvith the ideological baggage of 'Mexicanism'. Jan's day -to-day perceptions of Mexico are pretty dry, as befits the sustained experience of a country eroded by a vexed , half-baked capitalism in which notions of public transparency and accountability are beyond appeal; a country whose landscape is unrelentingly assaulted by the brutalities o f development and under-development, to the tune of an astounding d isregard far nature.
Hendrix'S move to. In short, Jan's relationship with Mexico is one of inevitable counterpoint. And yet, aiong Vvith the incidence of cinematic sequential narration , ecological predication and the compelling pull for many years of the figure 01 the nomad , perhaps it is possible to speak of this artist's Mexican experience in terms of translucence , of backlighting. Nol just because of its purism , or the formalism of its approach, or the specificity of the medium lhat narrows concentration down to the potential of paper and of serigra,ohic procedures.
Not even because. I'a posl! Nostalgia and travel seem to be indissociable concepts , On the one hand, the myth ical idea 01 the voyage as a retum , But also, the modem yeaming lor the days 01 authentic exploration , A trope 01 present journeys is the sense that we have come here too late, To travel brings up the paradox 01 modemist auto-criticism: we become aware that the very lactors that made this joumey possible- the extension 01 the means 01 transport , the tourist economy, the homogenization 01 social modes-are also the ones that make it no longer ajourney.
II the world has grown increasingly the same, to go here or there is neither here nor there, beyond the restless hunt lor different addresses in a single global amusement park, As a result 01globalization , travel has cea sed to be a quest lor c ivilizing alter' " Ibid , , p , 5 , p. And thus I understand the pas sion, the fo lly, the deceit of traveller's tales They peddle the illusion of what no longer exists, and what would have to exist still for us to escape the crush ing evidence that years of history have been squandered.
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- Writing and Reading the Declaration of Independence.
- Oeuvres de Gabriel de La Landelle (French Edition).
- PLA25-18, trip log, Falkland Islands, South Georgia and Antarctic Peninsula.
- Amore, ecc. (Super ET) (Italian Edition);
Is it the sourness 01 the intellectual who condemns the expansion 01 travel as a phenomenon that will devour, disenchant or devalue its objects? Is it the exoticist and his successors insisting on their exclusive 1 rights to the elsewhere, bemoan ing the 1I way modern tourism has democratized I the material, spiritual and sexual privi 1 leges 01 a male bourgeois elite? Sacrifiee and diffieulty were traditionally among its prime merits. If the present trend is continued, the day.
The pages of this Log-book can be read as the nar-. In the successive transcriptions-from photog raph to sketch, from inky stroke to blot, from the collected specimen to the emulsion on the serigraphic mesha methodology of aesthetics by dint of abstraction and rarefication is under way; it is this that causes the final work to look like the sudden emanation of a contained experience that would not be recuperable in the so-called everyday world.
The technique with which Hendrix applies white gouache over his Polaroids.
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A homological relation is revealed. This dual function simplification and accentuation , isolation and condensation unites the various transformations to which Hendrix subjects the fragments he portrays. On top of this, there is the recourse to montage by repetition. In order to create the sensation of a leafy canopy, a sky, rocks or mountains, Hendrix tends to isolate a fragment of the whole and surreptitiously. I lIrllalll all d I'S 1'. An element that faces up is almost unrecognizable when rotated to the left or downward, and so the repetition goes unnoticed.
What the mind does register here is the sense of having to compose the image step by step , The viewer does not spot the fact that an apparently rounded scene is actually serially fabricated, in the same way as the stamped pattern on a sari; yet she feels an urge to unify the image in the mind, in the bodily sensation of it, since it is not wholly persuasive to the eye in detail.
AII these technical procedures are freighted with a range of allusions. Hen drix effective ly believes that nature disposes of a limited catalogue of forms, a stock of archetypes. Given the principies of combinability and interchangeability. Minute faults behave exactly like great nvers and mountain ranges.
The nb of a leaf in Australia resembles the curve of the horizon , and a crooked length of branch twists like the meanderings of a stream. In Ireland, the dlstance between two stone slabs d ctates the slope of a gully. The Moon and the silhouetted cliffs suggest alphabets, and the creeping stains of lichen are the maps of continents yet to be discovered.
Io"n E ls n e r', Pilg rim age Pas t and Presellt. Never until the twentieth cen tury had so many people been sev ered fro m their national, regional and ethn ic roots; there are tens of million s o f refugees , and a scarcely lesser number have been internally displaced by civil strife. Even larger are the commu nities of immig rants created by the flow of asp iri ng workers towards the richer world , w hile touri sm is on the verge of becoming the leadi ng service sector on a global scale, In some parts of the world it is not un usual for people to hold down two jobs in different countries, only hours apart by plane.
Such an imminent, thorough and merdI' ' ll a lqlli e l' ' I ' lI l ' lIlal'i s lllo. Dado ,1 p l'ill " ipi o. The concept of the 'virtual office' emerges at the same time as the tendency to homogenize hotels and catering , while facilitating episodes of viro tual travel at work, I myself am typing these words on my home computer while Iistening to a live BBC Radio 3 broadcast, in almost uninterrupted communication with a friend in Maastrichl, and planning to send an email of condolence for the.
IIl1 a h o. Kaplan, op, cil , , p, Illl'a pa ' ' ' ' dCI'i,al'. La Lllll a'y la s illl 'l a de l os b al' l'all ,o s pl'opon e ll al '-. L os r e fu g iad os se CII Clllall por d ece n as d e nlilloll es. I a s razon es para lIu cs ll'O d ' sp lazamielllo. We are at the threshold 01 a new mode of politics whic h incorporates the traveller, no longer as a remote obseNer, but as a problematic subject.
Even rightwing jitters about the surge in ' revolutionary to uri sm' are an un mistakab le symptom 01 this transition. The Euro-American center and its allegedly cosmopolitan capitals are not what attract the gaze and the footsteps 01Jan Hendrix. But belore objecting here to the imposition of a neocolonial vision with a weakness fo r the exotic , we should consider whether the reasons for his choice may not be other.
Counter to any idea of ' mill ena ry China' or 'eternal Mexico", Hendrix's compas points him toward situations in wh ic h tradition is pitted against change. It's a tour that includes some. An experience that cannot but be torn between the sublime and the deathly. In China, then, Jan Hendrix was attracted above all by the red fiags, the insignia of power and the silent traces of violent repression in Tiananmen Square, as weli as by the impassive serenity of the sacred mountain.
The mountain is the only piece of territory exempt from the pitiless productivism that has been forced on a nation already devastated by Mao's fantasies. It is the exception that ideology leans on-as w ith Mexico's archaeolog ical complexes- when economic reform threatens to blast away what is left of the failed nationalistic project. Hendrix detects a complicity between the famous finesse of Chinese sensibility, and a history of political violence : Chinese culture, Jan says, is steeped in blood.
It's the most violent culture in the East, ahead of Korea, Japan and Turkey. That violence is a coun terpoint to the stunning beauty of its objects. The metaphorical charge of any territory arises from the projection onto it of social hopes and fears, or from its infusion with utopian nostalgia. Its authority derives not only from beauty, but from the association made between this type of beauty and its implications, One and the other are so enmeshed that it is impossible to disentangle whieh of them counts most in our perception, Only a lame semiotics would inquire whether the beauty came first, and afterward the meaning; only a poor theoretician would imagine that symbols are avai lable ready-made in reality, their signifieds being mere appendages, In the strict sense, there can only be landscape on a terrain touched by culture, or one on which a culture has pro.
Pal'a llelldl'i x h av IIl1 a comp li c id a d e llll' '. I'aord ill a l'i a d c SII S ob. This requi rement is graphi cally manifest in the common etymolog ical li nk between landscape and rural order. In English , as inthe Dutch landskap, the word derives from the Germanic root Landschaft, meaning ajurisdiction, or unit of human occupation, as much as some pleasing scene of contemplation.
They can only be viewed as cli matological and geological accidents , By traveling to places renowned as "Iandscapes' on the far removes of the earth, Jan Hendrix establishes a consumption of symbolic motifs and historical con11 Simon Schama, Landscape and Memory, London, Fontana Press , , pp. Madrid, Editorial Gredos , , p. His is certainly an attitude molded by the search for things that differ from the polite econom ic routine of Europe. Exoticism was based on the presumption of the essential ahistoricity of the Other; in Hendrix's case , what is non-western , or peripheral, owes its fascination to the contrary, which is the spectacle of con stant flux.
By "non-European', he understands the paradoxical, complex and often brutal effects of the adaptations fuelled by under-development and postcolonial conflict. This continues to be an Otherness with regard to Europe, but with a crucial novelty: while the devel oped centers languish in the apparent stasis of "post- history', it is on the edges that the action of modernization become visible : a landscape racked by socioeconomic forces.
What has become reduced , in the metropolis, to the mild scenario of a service economy ticking over, is seen at the peripheries to be the corrosive effect of exponential change. It is understandable that for the Romans, only the land made fruitful by civilization was agreeable to the eye. According to Simon Schama-whose Landscape and Memory 1 is an unparalleled excursion into the ways cultural tradition has shaped our notions of landscape-when Tacitus was writing of the lands of the Germans as informem terris , the adjective meant both 'shapeless' and 'dismal'.
Madrid , Ed itor ia l Gre dos, , p. C laude Lorrain , harked back explicitly or implicitly to the myth ' of Arcadia as the underlying image of lost harmony between nature and c ulture, to express a dissatisfaction with present tribulations. It is with reference to this inherited tradition that it became possible to "make landscape out of mere geology and vegetation'. The reverence for 'virgin" wilderness that led the United States to fence off its national parks, worship the photographs of Anselm Adams and produce the Unq.
Asher Durand , president of the 13 'The interest', said Clement Greenberg, 'in nature etc Los vis il. Natbnal Acaderny 01 Design in NeNYorkand the effective theologian 01the later Hudson Valley school, declared that the American wildemess, apart from supptying vvell-being and sustenance lo its coIonists, was 'fraught with lessons 01 high and holy meaning , only surpassed by the lighl 01 Revelation. Landscape is invariably ' metaphor'. The overwhelming effect 01 a landscape is to pos it a transportation to somewhere else.
Jan Hendrix : I was the most rabid ideologist in town when I was sixteen , I saved Ihe whole country, but nobody lound out. I was even a Communist, though befo re I grasped the difference between Leninism and Maoism , I liked Mao badges a lot.
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Pai saj e s ie lllpre 'S " 11 letMe! E l c recto prill c ipa l d e pa isaje es propon e r tra ll s port e. You have to remember that it was very bad form in those days not to take a position. It was the only way to be in the anti-Vietnam war protests or the student barricades. AII that was part of my adolescent training, and it was essential for my understanding of ideologies: as soon as I was out of the Catholic church , I went running after the next fix, because I needed another, urgently.
The fashion able line was Marxism. So I had to join the smallest, most obscure and most extreme party there was in Holland , of all places. The Socialist-Pacifist Party. The most recondite of all. The smallest party in Holland, the most radical, the most angry, the most exaggerated, the most sincere, and the most attached to the most way-out ideo ology, which happened to be Maoism. And when did that stage come to an end? In the Seventies No, I guess almost the Eighties. Here, in Mexico? No, little by little, first in Holland and then here.
I moved on to the ideology of arto Like I swapped one for the. Y IIl a l vis to que 11 0 tll viel'a s tll p os t lira. Ja ll II 'nd,. Not so much an essay, as a string of loosely-connected arguments, arranged like cinematic sequences rather than in logical progression. Notes jotted down at different times and places, able lo be read no less disjointedly. Attempts to outplay the dumb dichotomy of form and content. The simple fact is that artists of Jan's generation first evolved their work in the contexl of a world defined by ideologies.
Even when their art was not directly political, it was the over-arching refraction of polil. Jan's decision to seek beauty in contemporaneity sprang from a lesson in disillusion : political confrontation does not encompass everything. This significant silence is hard to understand for post-ideological artists, blind to the underlying motives of cer-. Modernist sublimation was not so much escapisrn , as the translerral 01 the intensity 01 the dilemmas 01 the day to the visual domain. I don't think that my position is a mere lorm 0 1culturalism.
One might ask onesell, echoing Merleau- Ponty, in what way exactly do Jan Hendrix's engravings set about ' making us see the visible. Ves indeed: to give onesell up to the dillicult task 01 speaki ng Irom a phenomenolog ical point 0 1view would be in order, since Hendrix's graph ics are pre -eminently concerned wit h clawing back the rotundity 01 presence.
From then on, he has dedicated himsell to inventing a graphics 0 1 visual, corporal and psycholog ical presence. His works are an attem pt to record natu re as a sensible apparition,. We are not only momentarily placed in front of a panorama, but also literally compelled to make, so to speak, an appearance befare an unkx;alizaOO place-the place par excellence. In a sense, the aim not for the print to represen!
The distinction pursued by Hendrix between landscape and place is essentially intuitive, less an objective visual trait than a quality of experience that transmits its condition to the gaze. SC'lI sa liolt.
It has all to do with that interruption, that emotional click that gives us pause and changes our outlook. Thus whatever passed unseen, or did not stop. AII of a sudden, the specimens in a vitrine standing in the center of the room strike us dumb with amazement. Eleven pairs of identical stones, alike down to the last detail, sitting side by side as though the world itself had beco me impregnated with a spooky logic. Vilja Celmins had made bronze molds of eleven common pebbles, and painted them to make them look indistinguishable from the originals, save for a slight difference in sheen.
Her title for the ensemble, To Fix the Image in Memory was no doubt in tended to demonstrate that only by reiteration can an image be hammered into the culture. But to us the hyper-realist prank felt more like an ominous, apocaIyptic sign oAs with' wax museums, real -. If the image of those stones stuck in the memory, it was because of what the perfect reproduction meant with regard to the death of natural beauty. There are some touching and vivid images of tangled-in-the-sheets in the camper van in pouring-pattering-rain which are, if not sui generis , then perhaps some of the best of their kind.
But sex in adulthood strikes me as a much more devious agent. It's not just a sequence of images within the backdrop of a story. It permeates people's conceptions of what a story even is. There are the men who believe sex is romance, and the men who believe sex is sex and there is no romance.
And there are the women who believe romance is romance and sex a simple function of it. And there are the women who call you at 4 am and believe only in sex but their real desires only as obvious as that they will never be attained as long as they call you at 4 am. And there are the women who believe only in sex, and the men there, too. And the men that believe they believe only in sex and those that believe they do not believe. And there are the men who tell themselves stories about love and the women who listen to those self-recitations on a bed pillow and both sides believing without believing and then a lifetime of silence.
And there are the men who tell themselves stories about love into the blank pages of a sexless journal and then feel the emptier for it having been writ and continue to write until it's all been emptied and they can't possibly know anything else. And there are the women who never knew anything at all. And the women who seem to know everything, and the men who tell themselves there are women who seem to know everything.
And the men who tell themselves they know everything. Here and there, there is sex. When the truth is so fraught, his omissions left me somewhat untrusting. I felt unsettled. View all 12 comments. What a wonderful book. Part essay, part travelogue with a smattering of fiction, it's an indescribable blend of humor, sadness, quirk and love. The catch is, they stopped at every single rest-stop along the way at the count of two per day, sleeping over night at the second one.
This book chronicles their thoughts and notes throughout the journey What a wonderful book. This book chronicles their thoughts and notes throughout the journey. Instead, they focused on each other, on reading, writing and observing. Their writing covers great terrain--despite the modest terrain they are actually covering in the VW--from the philosophical to the poetic, to the mundane and pseudo-scientific.
Light-hearted humor arises when they treat the journey "scientifically" with a daily "travel log" in which they indicate times of departure, weather, what they ate, where the bus was parked facing N. N, for example , and so on. As, for example, a rest area was "closed" to sabotage their journey. Love, and the joy of their togetherness, was a major theme expressed throughout the story. Physical and emotional love. Their affection is so gentle and so poetic, reading it is near meditative in quality.
It was so sad, given their tremendous affection. They set off not knowing what they would find and what they found was the beauty of existence even in the most absurd of situations. Touring rest areas. The only aspect of the story that didn't sit well with me was the personification of Fafner, the VW bus.
I accused said vehicle of attempting to kill me on several occasions. Its attacks included but were not limited to: a steering system that pulled to the left, windshield wipers that gave out in the middle of a torrential downpour whilst driving from Cleveland to Columbus, Ohio, and scalding burns on the thighs occasioned by the vinyl bench seat, which could achieve temperatures that could smelt iron if left exposed to direct sunlight. But despite my own experience with personifying vehicles in my youth, I was left somewhat uncomfortable with affection expressed for a motor vehicle as charmingly and innocently as it was expressed.
You see, in the U. But a corporation can't seem to die no matter the heinous crimes it commits. No matter whom it kills or what laws it breaks. A few individuals on rare occasions can be put in jail for fraud they commit within a corporation, but the corporation goes on. It rebrands. And over time, people forget. A generation later, a brand that was once conservative can become hip.
A brand that once poisoned an ocean, can be forgiven. Volkswagen was, as you can learn from a quick trip to Wikipedia, founded by the Nazi Party. And Volkswagen's formative years were spent making all sorts of vehicles for the war effort. Hitler himself took a person interest in the success of Volkswagen. Rather ironic how the VW bus and the VW beetle became symbols of the hippie movement in the sixties, isn't it? Not only ironic, but it demonstrates how brands and Capitalism can swallow up idealism and sell it back to you.
Levis is one of the current brands that is trying to advertise in the spirit of the Occupy movement. As if, somehow, wearing Levis makes you more free, more independent minded and more creative. Brands want us to personify their products in order to develop an emotional relationship with them and choose to purchase them again. Generating emotion in advertising is a core trick to drive sales. A trick that often has nothing whatsoever to do with the product itself. Think of Coke. Or Pepsi.
And Cortazar being an ardent Socialist, I couldn't help but wonder why he allowed himself to be seduced by this product. I couldn't help but not find emotional affection for a VW bus as less charming than it was intended to be. At any rate, this is wholly my own reaction to this aspect of the book and despite the digression it sent me off in my own mind, I can none-the-less whole-heartedly recommend this book.
View all 3 comments. This delightful account of a modern day Don Quioxite and his Dulcinea counts on the 'patient,gentle reader' to rise to the challenge of discovery. With route and itinery clearly defined,and strict rules establishing protocol,this absurd adventure nevertheless transcends any attempt at categorization.
The authors come the closest when they confess P "It's true that this trip is an unending fiesta of life" and the sense of celebration is strong throughout. One thing that surprised and delighte This delightful account of a modern day Don Quioxite and his Dulcinea counts on the 'patient,gentle reader' to rise to the challenge of discovery.
Light and dark passion will push us towards the end,always towards the end and further. There where I hold you as if our skin would dissolve at the contact I am not confident though that everyone is as thrilled as I am about this: note that the book is listed right here as authored only by JC!
But this,amongst parallel themes,is the real reason this account strikes such a sympathetic chord. Underneath the bravado and the jokes,the careful details recorded and savored,this is a love story of two people passionate about each other and the life they have conjured from their sharing. Despite vast differences in age and upbringing,the fact that they found each other is inspiring.
It was really sad to read the last page,written by JC alone some months later,documenting the passing of his beloved partner. There's no turning back,only a spiral. Not that they are lying, but that there is something they are fighting against, both in the world and within themselves perhaps, and that for this they must use all their imaginations.
Something about this book, though deceptively casual and without consequence and completely joyful, is also kind of heavy with the weight of the real world. View 2 comments. It's a radical idea, really, that a freeway, a kind of road whose very existence is about getting from one place to another as fast as possible, might in fact prove worthy as a destination in and of itself. In this lovely, charming and wonderful book, the authors decide to to make the km of autoroute between Paris and Marseilles their home for one month.
Their goal is to explore every rest stop along its path at the rate of two per day, camping out in their VW van and the occasional hotel, wh It's a radical idea, really, that a freeway, a kind of road whose very existence is about getting from one place to another as fast as possible, might in fact prove worthy as a destination in and of itself. Their goal is to explore every rest stop along its path at the rate of two per day, camping out in their VW van and the occasional hotel, while recording their observations of those things that the rest of us miss when whizzing by at km an hour.
The book begins with a playful, impish tone that sustains our intrepid explores throughout their journey, not only as they delight in the simple pleasures of finding the perfect picnic spot but also as they battle the forces that seek to derail them from their journey, be they torn fences that tempt them to leave the autoroute or sinister looking garbage cans that appear to be watching their every move.
I found it impossible to read this book without being yanked out of my own busy life and back into a place of discovery and wonder for the simplest of things around us. It will probably come as no surprise that the scientific conclusion the authors' draw from their mad journey is that there is no place as wonderful as where ever you are right now, but it is well worth taking this trip with them to see how they got there.
View all 11 comments. More than a travelogue, this 'example of how the imagination can truly take power if we forget about routines' is a delightful invitation to encounter the world with renewed curiosity; to engage fully the imagination, the spirit and the body in celebrating the boon of living rapturously.
I don't believe I'll approach any future expedition be it a jaunt to BoCoCa on the F train or a boating escapade among the majestic fjords of Iceland without considering the joy these two brought to theirs. It is not possible that you have read anything else like this book and unless you are cold-hearted, miserable and vicious, it is likely that you will embrace it, wish it to continue indefinitely and then admire its moving and unexpected conclusion.
Two poetic and imaginative people, very much in love with one another, document a journey from Paris to Marseille that moves through two highway rest stops per day. The travelogue, the photographs, and the ruminations are all made to glow by the intens It is not possible that you have read anything else like this book and unless you are cold-hearted, miserable and vicious, it is likely that you will embrace it, wish it to continue indefinitely and then admire its moving and unexpected conclusion.
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The travelogue, the photographs, and the ruminations are all made to glow by the intensity and playfulness of Cortazar and Dunlop's relationship and literary talent. Give this book to people you like. I finally finished this last night reading it aloud, like I have slowly over the course of the last few years to my wife —we were trying to really savor it — and she woke up startled to see me in tears she usually falls asleep as I read it.
This was the most romantic book I've ever read. It's also an ethics for living, one that I am reminded of every single time my wife and I travel someplace. An ethics of living life "with great seriousness, like a squirrel, I mean without looking for somethi I finally finished this last night reading it aloud, like I have slowly over the course of the last few years to my wife —we were trying to really savor it — and she woke up startled to see me in tears she usually falls asleep as I read it.
An ethics of living life "with great seriousness, like a squirrel, I mean without looking for something beyond and above living, I mean living must be your whole occupation". But at the same time, the ability to use your imagination, and to invent games and puzzles and windmills from the mundane material of life, from trucks and rest stops and little patches of roadside forest. We're always trying to do our best Carol and Julio when we go someplace, cemetery scavenger hunts, building peeping, wringing history out of every street signs, going a hundred miles out of our way to visit the future birthplace of Captain Kirk.
Read this book slowly, or keep it in the back pocket of the driver's seat when you go on road trips as a form of spiritual and aesthetic inspiration and guidance. Two years in the making, they finally embark on a road trip that is just that They parse out the rest areas between Paris and Marseilles, and plan to stay in two each day while on their 33 day journey. They travel in the heart and belly of the faithful Fafner, mediveal dragon-errant or to an outside viewer, an red VW bus, Osita Carol Dunlop and El Lobo Julio Cortazar document their travel experiment in France in the early 80's.
They travel in the heart and belly of the faithful Fafner, mediveal dragon-errant or to an outside viewer, an red VW bus, with a collapsible top. Their combined travelogue is filled with anecdotes, love stories, conversations with strangers, food journals, photographs, etc. They are also shadowed by a couple who El Lobo calls the??
Autonauts of the Cosmoroute is awfully heavy for a light read consisting of nearly four hundred pages of notes taken on the dozens of rest stops between Paris and Marseille but is ultimately a successful real-time travelogue, comparable in that respect to Wim Wenders' interminable and marvelous Kings of the Road. Dunlop and Cortazar lived slow and died young. The publishers of this edition make a point of informing the reader that both authors would pass within two years of their voyage along Autonauts of the Cosmoroute is awfully heavy for a light read consisting of nearly four hundred pages of notes taken on the dozens of rest stops between Paris and Marseille but is ultimately a successful real-time travelogue, comparable in that respect to Wim Wenders' interminable and marvelous Kings of the Road.
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The publishers of this edition make a point of informing the reader that both authors would pass within two years of their voyage along the autoroute. I wondered how important that piece of knowledge was until I reached the book's bittersweet final pages, where the young authors touch on mortality with a courageous lightness that emphasizes the real scope of their undertaking. This is a very unconventional, but great book. The wrinkle is that they will make the trip over two months never leaving the highway except to stop at 2 rest stops per day.
Using a combination of travelogue, photographs, diagrams, and imaginary correspondence between a mother and her soldier boy, they create an intimate portrait of wh This is a very unconventional, but great book. Using a combination of travelogue, photographs, diagrams, and imaginary correspondence between a mother and her soldier boy, they create an intimate portrait of what it is like to truly take in your surroundings and get in touch with boredom, simple pleasures, and paranoia.
This is the first Cortazar book that I have read, but it surely will not be my last. Cortazar is one of my most favourite authors and i think this is his best work. For those of you who haven't read him at all, i'd suggest you read his other books before making your way to this one. This book is the culmination of a quirky road trip that is made mythical by the sheer imagination of Julio and his wife Carol. The sketches and pictures add an aspect of realism, contrasted with which, his words take on unparalleled mystery.
If you want to know about the sorts of fantasies that run t Cortazar is one of my most favourite authors and i think this is his best work. If you want to know about the sorts of fantasies that run through a writers mind, pick this book and i promise you won't be disappointed. I savoured this book for a year and a half and its one i'll come back to again!
This shows that an amusingly lame but eccentric idea for a road trip can be seriously awesome when the adventurers are wild and crazy in all the right charming ways, and have many friends that encourage them to live their dreams. This book made me cry on the bus. Why oh why have I not read this before? Shame on me. This is just immense - a glorious Quixotic adventure, a love story, a paean of praise for slowing down and looking at life completely differently, a celebration of language, of words and of friendship.
Cortazar, I have to admit, is fairly new to me, but already his style and stories have blown me away. This, an account of a day journey made by him and his wife Carol Dunlop from Paris to Marseilles, should be given to everyone you know, to re Why oh why have I not read this before?
This, an account of a day journey made by him and his wife Carol Dunlop from Paris to Marseilles, should be given to everyone you know, to read, to love, to live by. Unlike anything I've read before. Have I said I enjoyed it? And omg, the last page will break your heart and make your heart soar at the same time.
Wonderful, simply wonderful. I don't know, it had some unnecessary chapters, but it was a weird mix of funny and bittersweet, knowing he had to end his book alone because his wife died before that. A truly delightful voyage through the cosmoroute. A bizarre book about a month-long trip never leaving the freeway. There are some brilliant passages, but a lot of wandering around in inanity.