My aim on TraveLit is to introduce readers who share my love of travel literature to good books they may not know about. Mostly classics, some new, the books cover travel in its many forms, from exploration to tourism. Along with reviews, TraveLit also brings together provocative, entertaining travel quotations and reader recommendations. I welcome comments on the readings, the reviews, the quotations, or the fascinating enterprise of travel itself.
November 17, 2015
North to Katahdin
By Eric Pinder. Milkweed Editions, 2005, 178 pp.
Katahdin—a name derived from the Abenaki Indian words kette adene, which is said to mean “greatest mountain”—is the highest point in Maine. It is also one end—for most thru-hikers, the endpoint—of the Appalachian Trail which extends 2160 miles to Georgia. In North to Katahdin, Eric Pinder rambles throughout the Katahdin region, ruminating on the mountain’s history and symbolism, and meditating on America’s relationship with wilderness.
Pinder takes as his starting point Henry David Thoreau’s 1846 visit to Katahdin, which he intended to climb but decided to abandon instead. Throughout the book, the author returns to this naturalist-philosopher, as he reflects on the popularity of mountain hiking today—an activity rare in Thoreau’s day—and wonders about the draw. “What is it—philosophically, aesthetically, and biologically—that attracts us to nature in the first place?” he asks. “Can the natural world still satisfy crowds in search of solitude?” (more…)
November 13, 2015
For some excellent,and beautifully illustrated, articles on tribal art and anthropology--a distinctive kind of travel--take a look at Detours des Mondes
November 10, 2015
I have traveled widely in Concord."
―Henry David Thoreau
"Loved this book, which appears to be but is more than an account of an anthropological expedition, more than a travel book, more than a memoir."--Barbara Beckwith, author of What Was I Thinking?: Digging Deeper into Everyday Racism, barbarabeckwith.net.
"It is undoubtedly the best written account of, and reflection on, fieldwork I have read, and --perhaps -- the best book on fieldwork (period) I have come across. --Joel Savishinsky, Professor of Anthropology (Emeritus), Ithaca College, author of Trail of the Hare.
“An impressively insightful, deftly written, accessibly articulate, expertly knowledgeable, and decidedly analytical survey of…book reviewing today.”
–Midwest Book Review
“Captivating stories in an anthology of epistolary fiction from the last 50 years.”
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