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In Motion: The Experience of Travelby Tony Hiss
Synopses & Reviews
In this extraordinarily wide-ranging, insightful, and revelatory book, Tony Hiss—the much-praised author of The Experience of Place—delves into a unique and instantly recognizable (though previously undescribed) experience that can happen to us when we travel, a special understanding and ability that can leave us feeling exhilarated. He illustrates how throughout human history—from our ancestors walking upright for the first time to astronauts walking on the moon—we have repeatedly availed ourselves of this seemingly elusive quality, which he calls “Deep Travel.”
The sensation of Deep Travel can overtake us, Hiss says, whenever we tap into a sophisticated, wide-awake awareness we all possess. With a wealth of examples—from evocative accounts of his own journeys to celebrated travel writing across the centuries—Hiss identifies and rescues this powerful capacity and sets out simple techniques for accessing it no matter where we are.
And this is only a jumping-off point for an original and penetrating explanation of how Deep Travel radically alters our perception of not only where we are but also when we are, by placing us in an “extended present,” and how it acts as an open-sesame to enlarge and enrich the world around us. Going even further, he investigates how we can remain absolutely still but travel in time itself, as our horizons move backward to include layers of nature and human culture that have gone before, or project us forward to consider what our actions will mean to those who will inhabit our spot on earth a few generations from now.
Whether travel takes you around the corner or around the world, once youve read In Motion, no journey will ever feel the same.
"Crowded airplanes and their lack of customer service, packed subway cars on a hot day, and daily commutes to and from work that take longer now on average than at any other time in history add up to much frustration with travel itself. Hiss (The Experience of Place) suggests, however, that all of us have an innate capacity to enter a different part of our minds during our travels and to begin to make use of an awareness that has its own range of interests, concerns, and methods. When the mind and not just the body is in motion, our experience of our ordinary world changes, and we can look with new eyes on the details of the world around us as we walk to the local coffee shop. Hiss urges us to embrace the innermost dimension of travel (its ability to lift the wings of the human spirit) as a way of transforming our time spent in motion. Hiss calls this ground-shifting waking consciousness 'Deep Travel,' that is, something that surprises us when we least expect it. For example, as biochemist Kary B. Mullis drove through redwood country north of San Francisco, his waking consciousness traveled along a wildly different path as he invented the technique that makes it possible to copy billions of pieces of DNA in a few hours and later brought him the Nobel Prize in chemistry. In the end, Hiss shares his own enlightening experiences of the mind in motion, acting as our Virgil of Deep Travel. (Oct.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright PWyxz LLC)
About the Author
In Motion marks Tony Hisss thirteenth book and follows the award-winning The Experience of Place. His books have explored subjects as varied as train travel, Hunanese cooking, giant pandas, the story of his family, and the future of New York City. He was a staff writer at The New Yorker for more than thirty years, has lectured around the world, and is currently a Visiting Scholar at New York Universitys Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service. He lives in New York with his wife, writer Lois Metzger, and their son.
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