Friday, April 25, 2008

"Boredom will become its own reward and change suddenly to ecstasy."

{Photos by rocketlass.}

From "The Art of Travel" (1931), by Cyril Connolly, collected in The Selected Works of Cyril Connolly, Volume Two: The Two Natures (2005)
I should like to restore mobility to the place it deserves, to produce a book of photographs with the slenderest commentary, a book called "The Anonymous Voyage" that would exhibit the bones of travel, the simplest component elements, the boat, the train, the ferry, the street, the hotel. There would be the quality of different countries; the incidents of movement; leaving at dawn, lunching on the train, arriving in the evening, walking round the town and dining by daylight; drinking alone.

Until I came across that passage, I hadn't thought about possible affinities between Cyril Connolly and Luc Sante--such as their shared fascination with the half-submerged influences of their youth, the seemingly limitless scope of their knowledge and curiosity, and their tendency toward self-deprecation--but Connolly's book of travel photos certainly seems like something that Sante would appreciate.

Alas, it doesn't exist, another of the legion of phantom books that could have been, condemned instead to haunt dreams and tug at imaginations, forever mislaid and mis-shelved in some alternate, richer universe, unseen and unshared.

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