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A Tramp Abroad

In The Art of Travel, 6. First Book, Berlin, Places by MelvinLeave a Comment

Mark Twain is a illustrative and hilarious writer. In his book A Tramp Abroad, he talks about his travels through Europe on foot. During his travels, he notes many things about Europe that is foreign and interesting to him. I was especially intrigued by the parts on Germany, because interestingly my 21st century experience abroad in Berlin could still relate …

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A Man Worthy of a Square

In The Art of Travel, 6. First Book, Prague by NatashaLeave a Comment

I read Open Letters, a compilation of letters and essays written by Czechoslovakia’s first post-Communist president, Vaclav Havel. This man is a genius, and I don’t say that lightly. Our professors here, whether they knew him personally or admired him from the vantage of another front of the revolution, speak very highly of him. Havel seems to be one of …

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The Small Moments

In The Art of Travel, 6. First Book, Prague by EricaLeave a Comment

For John Banville, who wrote the novel, Prague Pictures: A Portrait of the City, his numerous visits to the Czech Republic left him with an array of different memories- many of which are quite similar to my own. In chapter 3 of the novel, Banville writes about a time he went over to the house of a woman named Katerina with …

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Another Tramp Abroad

In The Art of Travel, 6. First Book, Berlin, Places by Arjun2 Comments

Oftentimes, one feels guilty for framing their experiences of their world travels in the contexts of themselves and their own small world that they know best. It seems this is especially the case for Americans: observing a panel on contemporary German politics, I noticed that most of the questions that students asked were framed in some comparative context. Of course, …

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The Dog

In The Art of Travel, 6. First Book, Shanghai by William Denning1 Comment

Every once in a while, you’ll come across a piece of work—a book, a painting, maybe even a map or a piece of music—that will suddenly make sense of a cacophony around you that you didn’t even know was there. It brings into focus an unknown static, files away and categorizes thoughts of an environment undecipherable. Jack Livings’ short story …

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Theroux’s China

In The Art of Travel, 6. First Book, Shanghai by Mark1 Comment

In the past when I have returned home after a months-long trip, friends and family have always asked: “What’s the craziest thing that happened?” I’m always caught off guard by this. It forced me to consider whether nothing interesting had really happened, or perhaps I was just a bad storyteller. As I read Riding the Iron Rooster, by Paul Theroux, …

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Twain’s Take: Italy 120 years ago more “present” than ever

In The Art of Travel, 6. First Book, Florence by Andrew CohenLeave a Comment

A Tramp Abroad is certainly not the longest of Mark Twain’s titles. At 50 chapters followed by 6 appendixes, it can seem intimidating, but it moves quickly, thanks in no small part to Twain’s wit. Though he doesn’t arrive in Italy until chapter 47, I think this strengthens the impact of the short chapters spent there and gives an interesting …

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Book of Clouds: Can You Ever Escape the Past?

In The Art of Travel, 6. First Book, Berlin by Havana LiuLeave a Comment

Book of Clouds by Chloe Aridjis is the fictional first person account of a young Mexican woman named Tatiana who lives, dissociates, works, submits and ultimately searches for some semblance of identity while living in Berlin. Along with discussing universal topics like age and profession, the text specifically deals with the Berlin cityscape as a complex space layered with history, …