Sign in  |  Register

The New Criterion

The New Criterion is probably more consistently worth reading than any other magazine in English.
- The Times Literary Supplement

Fiction Chronicle

November 2012

Go walkabout

by Stefan Beck

Coverage of Lionel Asbo: State of England by Martin Amis, A Hologram for the King by Dave Eggers, The Lower River by Paul Theroux, and Voss by Patrick White.

Before tourism there was travel,” wrote the critic Paul Fussell, “and before travel there was exploration.” This statement, from Fussell’s Abroad: British Literary Traveling Between the Wars (1980), seems uncontroversial, even banal. But he didn’t mean merely that exploration was a precondition for travel, and travel for tourism. Rather, he meant that travel was all but dead, and that the ashes of exploration had been scattered to the four winds: “Because travel is hardly possible anymore, an inquiry into the nature of travel and travel writing between the wars will resemble a threnody, and I’m afraid that a consideration of the tourism that apes it will be like a satire.”

It’s possible to read this part of Fussell’s critique as satire with a straight face, but nevertheless, it caused some offense. In The New York Times, Jonathan Raban called Abroad

This article is available to subscribers and for individual purchase

Subscribe to TNC (Print and Online editions)

Subscribe to TNC (Online only)

Purchase article credit and clip this article

If you already have an account login first

Stefan Beck is a writer living in Hudson, New York. He has contributed on fiction and other subjects to The Wall Street Journal, The Weekly Standard, and elsewhere.


more from this author

This article originally appeared in The New Criterion, Volume 31 November 2012, on page 31

Copyright © 2014 The New Criterion | www.newcriterion.com

http://www.newcriterion.com/articles.cfm/Go-walkabout-7475

E-mail to friend


The New Criterion

By the author

Man up

by Stefan Beck

Reviews of On Earth as It Is in Heaven, by Davide Enia; All the Birds, Singing, by Evie Wyld; Three Brothers, by Peter Ackroyd; and Mount Terminus, by David Grand.

Facing the music

by Stefan Beck

Reviews of Play Pretty Blues by Snowden Wright, The Love Song of Jonny Valentine by Teddy Wayne, The Guts by Roddy Doyle, and Traveling Sprinkler by Nicholson Baker.

Fifty million fables

by Stefan Beck

Reviews of Manuscript Found in Accra by Paulo Coelho, Fight Song by Joshua Mohr, The Fun Parts by Sam Lipsyte, and The Woman Upstairs by Claire Messud.

You might also enjoy

The unheimlich maneuver

by Stefan Beck

On The Vanishers, by Heidi Julavits, Hope: A Tragedy, by Shalom Auslander, Gods Without Men, by Hari Kunzru, and Varamo, by César Aira.

Four horsemen

by Stefan Beck

On The Leftovers by Tom Perrotta, Zone One by Colson Whitehead, The Prague Cemetery by Umberto Eco & Cain by José Saramago.

The information

by Stefan Beck

On The Terrible Privacy of Maxwell Slim by Jonathan Coe, Emily, Alone by Stewart O'Nan, Swamplandia! by Karen Russell & The Pale King by David Foster Wallace.

Most popular

view more >

Subscribe to our newsletter!

* indicates required

Events

November 04 2014

Friends and Young Friends Event: Election Night Party


November 12 2014

Friends and Young Friends Event: Book Launch Party with Andrew Roberts


Webcasts

The Walter Duranty Prize for Journalistic Mendacity
On May 5, 2014, The New Criterion and PJ Media presented the second Walter Duranty Prize for Journalistic Mendacity. The award is given to highlight egregious examples of dishonest reporting. Also awarded this year was the Rather, a new award for lifetime achievement in mendacious journalism.
The Duranty Prize is named after Walter Duranty, the New York Times Moscow corresponded in the 1920s and 1930s who whitewashed Joseph Stalin’s forced starvation of the Ukrainians (the Holodomor) and many other aspects of Soviet oppression. Duranty was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 1932 for his efforts. It has never been revoked.
Audio copyright Ed Driscoll, www.eddriscoll.com.


Introduction to The Kennedy Phenomenon
Roger Kimball introduces The Kennedy Phenomenon, a conference presented by The New Criterion on Tuesday, November 19.


The Kennedy Phenomenon: "Watching the Kennedy Train-Wreck"
Roger Kimball reads Peter Collier’s paper on oft-overlooked unsavory details of the Kennedys' lives. Much of the paper is drawn from Collier’s book, coauthored with David Horowitz, The Kennedys: An American Drama.

Weblog