El artificio de la escritura / The artifice of writing

jueves, 17 de septiembre de 2009

Travel and reading

The world—writes San Agustin, as cited by my airline magazine—is a book” and those who do not do any traveling are limited to reading only a few pages. The comparison between reading and traveling, less effective today than in a time of few and extremely valuable books, is adequate to a certain extent. Traveling could be limited to going around with the book under the arm and seldom, if ever, opening it to read its pages. Or better yet, traveling could be compared to passing the pages quietly, looking for a simple passage or an indelible image.

True traveling requires much more than simply going from one place to another, both of them comfortably similar. Hotels look all alike; airports are almost identical one to the other, cities tend to imitate a more or less ideal place with similar malls and recognizable scenes. The book of the world seems to have been made of a few pages repeated with little variation one after another. More than a book, the world today is a commercial magazine with the same ads repeated in every other magazine and billboards all over.
What is different, though, is there to be seen and enjoyed by those who want to read closely and with a sense of curiosity. In spite of the sameness of the world resulting from the travelers need for assurance –quite opposite to the spirit of travel—, the true traveler of today can find the peculiarly distinct and learn from it if it reads the book with care and dedication. The unparalleled enjoyment of being somewhere else becomes, then, a profoundly satisfying and transforming experience.

3 comentarios:

Anónimo dijo...

Para mi estimado amigo Santiago:

Ciertas lenguas le atribuyen a San Agustín una cita que toda la vida me ha fascinado, a saber:
"Dame castidad, Dios mIo, pero no ahora".


Santiago Daydi-Tolson dijo...

Ciertas malas lenguas, por cierto, que seguramente lo conocían muy bien.

Anónimo dijo...

Hello. Great job. I did not expect this on a Wednesday. This is a great story. Thanks!