Tuesday, 12 January 2010

Perfect Moments in real life and in fake non-fiction

‘The trouble with Perfect Moments is that they never come at the end of the trip. They come somewhere in the middle. Or the beginning. As a travel writer, you get to cheat. Rearrange chronology. Take your Day Two dinner with the college kids and turn it into the last paragraph, your final hurrah. It’s fake, of course, but so is a lot of travel writing, so what’s the difference?

Actual travelers don’t have this luxury. Actual travelers exist in real time and have to deal with the kinds of troubles that don’t end up as body copy between splashy photos of a beach at dawn and coconut-encrusted prawns in honey-melon-okra dipping sauce at cocktail hour. Actual travelers have to deal with actual travel. Often, this leads to the kind of trouble the travel industry would just as soon pretend doesn’t exist.’

Chuck Thompson
in ‘Smile When You’re Lying — Confessions Of A Rogue Travel Writer’ (p 23)

Review of the book

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