By By (photographer) Richard Baker By (author) Alain de Botton
From the bestselling writer of The artwork of shuttle comes a wittily exciting exploration of the unusual "non-place" that he believes is the ingenious middle of our civilization.Given extraordinary entry to at least one of the world’s busiest airports as a “writer-in-residence,” Alain de Botton came across it to be a exhibit for plenty of of the main crosscurrents of the trendy world—from our religion in expertise to our destruction of nature, from our international interconnectedness to our romanticizing of the unique. He met tourists from everywhere and spoke with every person from luggage handlers to pilots to the airport chaplain. Weaving jointly those conversations and his personal observations—of every little thing from the poetry of room provider menus to the eerie silence in the midst of the runway at midnight—de Botton has produced a unprecedented meditation on a spot that the majority folks by no means decelerate adequate to determine essentially. Lavishly illustrated in colour by way of popular photographer Richard Baker, every week on the Airport finds the airport in all its turbulence and soullessness and—yes—even good looks.
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Extra info for A Week at the Airport (Vintage International Original)
I explained – with the excessive exposition of a man spending a lonely week at the airport – that I was looking for the sort of books in which a genial voice expresses emotions that the reader has long felt but never before really understood; those that convey the secret, everyday things that society at large prefers to leave unsaid; those that make one feel somehow less alone and strange. Manishankar wondered if I might like a magazine instead. There was no shortage, including several with feature articles on how to look good after forty – advice of course predicated on the assumption that one’s appearance had been pleasing at thirty-nine (the writer’s age).
After dinner, it was still warm and not yet quite dark outside. I would have liked to take a walk around one of the few fields that remained of the farmland on which the airport had been built some six decades before, but it seemed at once perilous and impossible to leave the building, so I decided to do a few circuits around the hotel corridors instead. Feeling disoriented and queasy, as if I were on a cruise ship in a swell, I repeatedly had to steady myself against the synthetic walls. Along my route, I passed dozens of room-service trays much like my own, each one furtively pushed into the hallway and nearly all (once their stainless-steel covers were lifted) providing evidence of orgiastic episodes of consumption.
M. on a Wednesday in suburban Liège. How enviously the staff must have considered the lot of ordinary policemen and women, who, despite their often unsociable hours and wearying foot patrols, could at least look forward to having regular encounters with exactly the sorts of characters whom they had been trained to deal with. I felt additional sympathy for the staff as a result of the limited curiosity they were permitted to bring to bear on the targets of their searches. Despite having free rein to look inside any passenger’s make-up bag, diary or photo album, they were allowed to investigate only evidence pointing to the presence of explosive devices or murder weapons.
A Week at the Airport (Vintage International Original) by By (photographer) Richard Baker By (author) Alain de Botton