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Lightness and Weight

In The Art of Travel, 6. Book #1, Prague by Vivian1 Comment

The first book I had chosen to read for this course is The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera, a book that I had been meaning to read for the longest time due to the continuous recommendation from my family and peers. As much as I regret not reading it earlier, I can say that I am unbelievably grateful …

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Where Restlessness Goes

In The Art of Travel, 6. Book #1, Buenos Aires by KianaLeave a Comment

Yesterday, I returned from a trip through Patagonia, which I appropriately accompanied with the novel In Patagonia by Bruce Chatwin. The novel is a first-person account of Chatwin’s journey through Patagonia to find the old skin of a sloth, a piece reminiscent of his grandmother and his childhood. In Chatwin’s words, “Patagonia is the farthest place to which man walked …

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A Brutally Honest Experience of China..?

In The Art of Travel, 6. Book #1, Shanghai by Yuka NiwaLeave a Comment

In his book “Lost on Planet China..”, J. Maarten Troost depicts China from a completely Western perspective that is brutally honest as he explores the country that considered “the future”(pg.13) . Although Mr. Troost is familiar with, “flitting from island to island in the South Pacific” (pg.1) and surviving on,“the rugged hills of Vanuatu” (pg.1), nowhere could compare to or …

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The Power of Collectivism

In The Art of Travel, 6. Book #1, Shanghai by Irina2 Comments

I sense that the common theme in Jack Livings’ short story collection, The Dog, is the power of collectivism in Chinese society. The various protagonists in his stories deal with the pressures and expectations of belonging in a community or family. The concept of “saving face” plays a large part in these stories as characters’ thoughts seem to contradict their …

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The Chronicles of China: The Dog, The Heir, and The Pocketbook

In The Art of Travel, 6. Book #1, Shanghai by Brooke1 Comment

The Dog by Jack Livings is a collection of short stories that epitomize the lives or varied individuals throughout China. I believe Livings wrote these stories for an American audience as they play with common themes and stereotypes that are often verbalized in American society. For example, the very first short story that Livings presents us with is titled “The …

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The Dark Underbelly of China

In The Art of Travel, 6. Book #1, Shanghai by Rachel2 Comments

The key to understanding China is that there is always something more going on behind the scenes. In his collection of short stories, Jack Livings takes the representation of China that most travelers have heard of, like high work ethic, gang violence, and the myth of locals eating dogs, and flips it over, exposing a more nuanced and stirring portrayal …

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We are all outsiders

In The Art of Travel, 6. Book #1, Paris by Howard2 Comments

“We are all outsiders when we travel. Whether we go abroad or roam about our own city or country, we often enter territory so unfamiliar that our frames of reference become inadequate. We need advice not just to avoid offense and danger, but to make our experiences richer, deeper, and more fun.” (James O’Reilly et Larry Habegger) While I opened …

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Danger Everywhere

In The Art of Travel, 6. Book #1, Sydney by Flurin1 Comment

Bill Bryson’s In a Sunburned Country was an exceedingly interesting read and covered a lot of ground with a healthy dose of humour and excellent storytelling. The overarching journey that is undertaken in the book is essentially a multi-phase road trip, which covers many of the major cities along with some lesser known parts of Australia, or as he calls …

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Facing the Fences

In The Art of Travel, 6. Book #1, Sydney by Falynn1 Comment

Considering that today is Columbus Day in America and that we’ve been discussing the topic of discrimination in my course Multicultural Counselling, the similar beginnings of Australia and the United States has definitely been on my mind. On the surface, it comes across that there is unity between the Aboriginal people of Australia and the other settled inhabitants. and equality …

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A Room with a View

In The Art of Travel, 6. Book #1, Florence by Isabel1 Comment

The first book I chose to read was “A Room with a View” by E. M. Foster. Right off the bat, I was reading about feelings and sensations I myself have felt, feelings that are universal to those who travel, particularly in Italy. If there are stages of grief, there are certainly stages of travel: excitement, fear, lost and found. …

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The Clock is Ticking

In The Art of Travel, 6. Book #1, Sydney by Nicolas1 Comment

Given that when flying into Australia you essentially experience a “twenty-four hour loss of existence,” can it be said that “there is a certain sense of achievement just in arriving in Australia” (Bryson)? According to Bill Bryson, a man smitten with Australia in more ways than are imaginable, and the author of In a Sunburned Country, this sense of achievement …

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“The Unbearable Lightness of Being”… and Leaving

In The Art of Travel, 6. Book #1, Prague by Maria Alejandra1 Comment

The first book I chose to read for this course is called The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera, one of the Czech Republic’s most renowned authors. (I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book, especially on my commute, and found myself almost missing my stop every time because I was so enthralled!) I had never thought of travel as something …