Return to Home Page

May 6, 2013

Every generation has worried that travel frontiers are disappearing

“D.H. Lawrence, in a letter written early in the last century, complained, “I feel sometimes, I shall go mad, because there is no where to go, no ‘new world.’” In Tristes Tropiques (alternately—and tellingly—titled A World on the Wane), published in 1955, Claude Levi-Strauss wrote, “There was a time when traveling brought the traveler into contact with civilizations which were radically different from his own and impressed him in the first place by their strangeness. During the last few centuries such instances have become increasingly rare. Whether he is visiting India or America, the modern traveler is less surprised than he cares to admit.” Maybe every generation feels this way. Alexander the Great was said to have wept when he realized he had no more worlds to conquer, and Evelyn Waugh, in 1946, took the same tone when he wrote that he did not “expect to see many travel books in the near future,” adding that, “Never again, I suppose, shall we land on foreign soil with letter of credit and passport … and feel the world wide open before us.” Even the title of the book from which that passage is drawn, When the Going Was Good, puts joy in the past tense.”
–Malcolm Jones, Is Travel Writing Dead? The Daily Beast, Jun 5, 2011

Posted by | Comments (4) 
Category: Travel Quote of the Day


4 Responses to “Every generation has worried that travel frontiers are disappearing”

  1. DEK Says:

    To see the world whose loss these travelers were lamenting, look at the photographs in old National Geographics from the early decades of the 20th Century. It was a world where a traveler could witness the splendor of barbaric courts and camel caravans in the desert and executed criminals hung in cages at the city gate.

  2. Roger Says:

    These authors, whom I respect completely, are just being a bit too melodramatic. There’s plenty to see out there, if we can just GO. When well over 70% of Americans don’t even leave the country year after year, we are missing a whole lot. And we tend to go back to the same places again and again, thus missing other places, other continents. I’m guilty of this. The world is not shrinking as much as our paltry amount of vacation time is. Time is running out—not destinations.

  3. bicyclegourmet Says:

    rolf..mr jones apparently hasn’t visited your blog before birthing his sensationalist title….the proff that his title is all “please click here” and nothing else….is plainly evident to anyone who has even SKIMMED your offerings here.

  4. Weekend Links | Life With a Mission Says:

    [...] Every generation has worried that travel frontiers are disappearing :: Rolf Potts on Vagablogging.net [...]

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

M.Jagger: Rod, Blimey….It was a blast partying with you at the local...

Ava Collopy: I’m currently working on a new book and website project to represent...

Caroline Macomber: I’m beginning to feel that it doesn’t end. But that I...

Stephen: Does it end, though? I’ve gone through several cycles of this over the...

Margie: I will never be a tour guide, but the prospective you have shown here will help...

Lynne Nieman: Well said! Although not a long term traveler like you, I have taken a few...

Dorje: Hi all. I was born in Kathmandu in ’71, my father ran the Rose Mushroom...

Gerry: Just reading Maureen’s comments [12thMay2014], My girlfriend and I had a...

jameselgringo: Perhaps you give too much emotional capital to money and its perceived...

Roger: He prefers traveling alone, actually.

SPONSORED BY :



CATEGORIES

TRAVEL LINKS

ARCHIVES

RECENT ENTRIES

Can words hurt as much as sticks and stones?
Vagabonding Field Report: The Penguins of Phillip Island
Long term travel with a family: You have to really want to do this
Alden Jones on going back to the places that obsess you
My top beaches around the world
Skepticism and salvation in Cyprus
Vagabonding Case Study: Denise Diamond
Locked in or locked out- when switching it up means going home
Vagabonding Case Study: Christine Kaaloa
Vagabonding Book Club: Chapter 10


Subscribe to this blog's feed
Follow @rolfpotts