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China Road

In The Art of Travel Fall 2015, Shanghai, Books (2) by Sammy SongLeave a Comment

Here I might compare both travelogues I read during our course this semester: the former namely J. Maartin Troost’s Lost on Planet China; the following namely Rob Gifford’s China Road. Whereas Troost reckoned with his experience abroad from the viewpoint of an unapologetic foreigner, both Gifford’s education in Chinese culture and fluency in Mandarin enabled China Road to resemble more …

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Farewell My Concubine: A Lens to Modern China

In The Art of Travel Fall 2015, Shanghai, Books (2) by Miranda BurnhamLeave a Comment

Although I have never seen the film adaptation of the less-famous yet predating novel Farewell My Concubine: A Novel by Lilian Lee, reading the book became for me a ground-breaking experience in Chinese understanding. Something I have been told since I first arrived in Shanghai is that the Chinese have a long history and a long memory. Coming from America, where …

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Unearthing the Past

In Buenos Aires, The Art of Travel Fall 2015, Books (2) by Nina1 Comment

As I am sure many people are aware, Argentina has a particularly sordid political past. From the widespread massacring of indigenous people during the early years of Argentina’s independence as a sovereign nation in the 19th century subsequently leading to the systemic racism that still plagues Argentina today, through the contested years of Juan Domingo Peron’s presidency under which Argentina’s …

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Living Spain through poetry

In The Art of Travel Fall 2015, Madrid, Books (2) by Daniel McElroy1 Comment

As I’ve said plenty of times before on this blog, Spain is a country built on contradiction. Almost nothing is what you would expect—sometimes charmingly so, and sometimes in the most frustrating of ways. And sometimes the unexpected is simply important to observe. Eye-opening even. I displace the air as I walk, a blunt yet thoughtful book of poetry by Marjorie …

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Italians vs. The World

In Florence, The Art of Travel Fall 2015, Books (2) by Serena Wong2 Comments

Tim Parks, in Italian Neighbours, recounts his unadulterated experiences while living in Verona, Italy. Unlike many texts that describe solely the romanticized ideals one has of Italian living such as elaborate meals, close-knit families, and great fashion, Parks provides a well-rounded account of what it is truly like to live as an Italian. On page eighteen, Parks writes, “And, of …

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North American Scum

In Florence, The Art of Travel Fall 2015, Places, Books (2) by Jonathan Rothstein1 Comment

Reading Mark Twain’s A Tramp Abroad, I’m hit with admiration for Twain’s writing like I’m in eleventh grade again, reading The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. I haven’t read Twain since, and at 21 years old, I can raise questions beyond the subject of the author’s intent, questions that reach contemplation of universal genius, artistry, and time. How very intelligent of …

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Hemingway, Part II

In The Art of Travel Fall 2015, Paris, Books (2) by Firozah NajmiLeave a Comment

After reading Hemingway’s early memoir, A Moveable Feast, for my first book assignment, I decided to read the book which served as the end product of these experiences of growth as a budding writer in Paris: The Sun Also Rises. This novel is not so much a quintessential “travel book” either, but rather a commentary on the “lost generation” which is made reference to in A Moveable …

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Myself

In Florence, The Art of Travel Fall 2015, Books (2) by Emily Molinelli1 Comment

The Sixteen Pleasures by Robert Hellenga is an interesting read. This novel is filled with art and self-discovery, two topics I have grown to know since living in Italy. The protagonist is a 29 year old woman, who decides to live in Italy. Margot Harrington is originally from Chicago, a major city, and therefore reminded me of myself. Coming from New York, I …

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An American Abroad

In Florence, The Art of Travel Fall 2015, Books (2) by Lindsey Giostra2 Comments

The simple words, “study abroad,” drenched with notions of hopeful discoveries, close friendships, and endless exploration, set the bar for all European experiences to be immensely fantastic. Before arriving at our destinations, we imagine fun, adventurous experiences and finding ourselves in love with the culture and language of our cities. However, as I found true with Mark Twain’s A Tramp …

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Bryson’s Australia

In The Art of Travel Fall 2015, Sydney, Books (2) by Christina BuruLeave a Comment

The book “In a Sunburned Country” is a charming combination of present observations and historical information (presented in the most entertaining way) and for those who have never been to Australia he makes comparisons with familiar scenes from the US (he does this when he reflects on his childhood). Bill Bryson (the author) talks about his travels through the country …