Saturday, 14 December 2019

The journey

I’ve been thinking about the narrative of the journey lately particularly after having read a second Kevin Barry book this year (most recently Beatlebone and Night Boat to Tangier a few months back). The journey is the perfect plot device to get a story rolling and although it may seem obvious, the external journeys to places foreign, familiar but long forgotten, long since visited, places of disorientation, new, alien or haunting, uncanny or nostalgic. 

Like reading, travel (the voyage or journey) is often a form of escapism, a new place, a new perspective, a new opportunity to embody a different version of ourselves and test it out in uncharted territory, a safe space for experimentation. The external circumstances of such journeys - the places themselves, the streets, the food, the people we encounter, but perhaps most poignantly the specific and distinct things each individual observes or notices - reflects the journeys that take place internally and the psychic work entailed in or fuelling the running away, avoiding, running towards or discovering. 

Two passages from Beatlebone

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