Thursday, June 11, 2009

This is such a beautiful, true paragraph

De Botton not only captures the longing inherent to modern life, but he explains, with stunning accuracy, the ways that longing becomes encoded in specific objects and places. "[N]o quayside can ever appear entirely banal, because people will always be minuscule compared to the great oceans," he writes, "and the mention of faraway ports will hence always bear a confused promise of lives unfolding there which may be more vivid than the ones we know here, a romantic charge clinging to names like Yokohama, Alexandria and Tunis -- places which in reality cannot be exempt from tedium and compromise, but which are distant enough to support for a time certain confused daydreams of happiness."
From Salon's review of Alain de Botton's The Pleasures and Sorrows of Work.