Return to Home Page

January 7, 2013

Boris Groys on the complicated dynamic of hosts and guests

“According to Kant sublimity lies not in ‘anything in nature’ but in the ‘capacity we have within us’ to judge and enjoy without fear the very things that threaten us. Hence the subject of Kant’s infinite ideas of reason is the tourist who repeatedly embarks on journeys in search of the extraordinary of enormity and danger in order to confirm his own superiority and sublimity in regard to nature. But in another section of this treatise Kant also points out that, for instance, the inhabitants of the Alps, who have spent their entire lives in the mountains, by no means regard them as sublime and ‘without hesitation’ consider ‘all worshippers of icy peaks to be fools.’ Indeed, in Kant’s age the romantic tourist’s gaze still differed radically from that of the mountain dweller. With his globalized gaze the tourist views the figure of the Swiss peasant, for instance, as a feature of the landscape — and thereby does not disturb him. To the Swiss peasant kept busy by and taking care of his immediate surroundings the romantic tourist is simply a fool and an idiot he is unable to take seriously. But in the meantime, as we well know, this situation has again completely changed. Even though the inhabitants of any particular region might still regard internationally roaming tourists as fools, nonetheless they increasingly sense the need — no doubt for economic reasons — to assimilate the globalized gaze pointed at them and to adjust their own way of life to the aesthetic predilections of their visitors, the travelers and tourists. Besides which, mountain dwellers have now also started to travel and are becoming tourists too.”
–Boris Groys, “The City in the Age of Touristic Reproduction,” Art Power (2008)

Posted by | Comments (0) 
Category: Travel Quote of the Day

Leave a Reply

Main

Bio

Books

Stories

Essays

Video

Interviews

Events

Writers

Marco

Paris

Vagabonding.net

Contact


Vagabonding Audio Book at Audible.com

Marco Polo Didnt Go There
Rolf's new book!


Vagabonding
   Vagabonding

RECENT COMMENTS

Val: I’m troubled by the same issue: how to keep habits while travelling? I...

Roger: I hardly ever have the opportunity to go anywhere on a whim, but thanks for...

Stacey Ebert: Thanks, Dane. Glad you enjoyed the post. There are some pretty amazing...

Dane Homenick: Wonderful story Stacey! I can’t way to make it back there and to...

Ric: Dyanne – you are quite the inspirationist for vagabonding. I enjoyed your...

Tom: Glad to hear people are writing their memoirs. Alun, please alert this list when...

Dane Homenick: You’re awesome lyndsay. Living!

Alun: Hi, I travelled from UK to Turkey in avan in 1972, and left southern Turkey...

Nobby Stiles: MORGIE, PISS OFF!!! CHEERS, NOBBY

Jenni: “But the thing is once you understand the “normal life” is...

SPONSORED BY :



CATEGORIES

TRAVEL LINKS

ARCHIVES

RECENT ENTRIES

On Baksheesh
Morning Rituals
Why you should be reminded about “mistake-fares”
Vagabonding Field Report: Magnetic Island and Barbie Cars
Australia’s Red Center: The beautiful nothing
Travel writing is about what the place brings out of the writer
How Africa got in my soul (and stayed there)
Vagabonding Case Study: Dyanne Kruger
Long-term travel, consumerism, and purging
Vagabonding Case Study: Lyndsay Cabildo


Subscribe to this blog's feed
Follow @rolfpotts