F.S.J. Ledgister on Fortunate Travelers

Ledgister considers the haunting histories of travel writing in the West Indies @ The Caribbean Review of Books. Good travel writing illuminates the places about which it is written — it is history, geography, culture, and politics in a much neater package than any textbook or classroom presentation could hope to achieve. Bad travel writing,… Read more »

Caroline Adderson on the Lives of the House

Adderson uncovers the lives of those earlier inhabitant of her house @ Geist. The house we bought had a shrine in the furnace room. I discovered it only after we moved in, when I made the room a catch-all for the things I’d been unable to part with during the move but that we didn’t… Read more »

Daydreams of the past

David MacFarlane goes walking down the street and into the past at The Walrus. As I was walking down Spadina Avenue in Toronto early one summer morning, I saw two workmen. They were replacing the old sign for a Vietnamese restaurant. One man stood at the top of a ladder. The other was below, looking… Read more »

The special chaos of a dream

Daniel Hernandez on the threats and uncertainties of life in Mexico City @ WorldHum. You can’t really appreciate the enormity of Mexico City until you leave it on the ground. Merely landing at or departing from Benito Juárez International Airport belies the city’s physical contours, the ranges of mountains that ring its basin. Flying in… Read more »

Salvaging the inner life

Sven Birkerts on the virtues of idleness @ Lapham’s Quarterly. Idleness—that beautiful, historically encumbered word. Beautiful because childhood is its first sanctuary and still somehow inheres in its three easy syllables—and who among us doesn’t sway toward the thought of it, often, conjuring what life might be like if it were still a play of… Read more »