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On the Beaten Track: Tourism, Art, and Place Paperback – September 1, 2000

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Believing that the unexamined experience is not worth having, Lippard (The Lure of the Local) is a tourist with a problem: she can't relax. In this blend of cultural criticism and on-the-road dispatch, Lippard examines the links between tourism and exploitation. A chapter on "Tragic Tourism" investigates the attraction of "celebrity murder sites, concentration camps, massacre sites." Her conclusions are appropriately nuanced: on the one hand, monuments "inspire secondary memories that can color or even interfere with responses to the primary event"; on the other, "remembrance is the only way to compensate the dead." Lippard's critical lingo is sometimes clunky, but her willingness to implicate herself in her critique makes the book accessibly personal ("I am resigned to looking like a tourist wherever I go, even at home, because I'm always rubbernecking"). This tendency lends a depth and power to her interrogation of the ways that Anglo tourism has made Santa Fe into "Santa Fake," through the trivialization and commodification of native and hispano cultures. As Lippard admits, it was after repeated tourist visits that she decided to move to the area. But Lippard is always on guard against the placid acceptance of tourism, always aware of the ways it can be an egregious indulgence of the affluent who are transforming the world in their own image.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Library Journal

Art critic Lippard (The Lure of the Local, New Pr., 1997) presents intriguing philosophical, historical, and sociological perspectives on tourists and tourism, from the conventional to the absurd. These thoughtful essays analyze the culture and motives of tourism from New Mexico to New York and from Texas to Maine and examine the attraction of certain destinations, sites, subjects, tours, museums (and other art), and modes of travel. What are visitors seekingAeducation, thrills, history (or its re-creation), status, nostalgia, multicultural exposure, identity? Are the sites real or mythologized? One of the most intriguing essays focuses on the popularity of places pertaining to tragedy or disaster, like Gianni Versace's mansion or the site of the Sand Creek Cheyenne-Arapaho massacre. Another highlight is a witty piece on trips to scenic overlooks, state parks, and the like. Most powerful, however, is the final essay on nostalgia, into which Lippard weaves her own personal history. Recommended for circulating libraries.ACarol J. Binkowski, Bloomfield, NJ
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: The New Press (September 1, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1565846397
  • ISBN-13: 978-1565846395
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 7.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,178,765 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Lleu Christopher on May 7, 2002
Format: Paperback
On The Beaten Track is a collection of essays on the overlapping themes of art, tourism and culture. Lucy Lippard discusses many aspects of modern tourism's impact on local landscapes and people. She places special emphasis on areas she is familiar with --New Mexico and Maine. She is a perceptive and original cultural critic, introducing the reader to alternative interpretations of everyday sites. It has occurred to me in recent years that modern society increasingly resembles a giant theme park or museum, with everything fenced off and labelled for the convenience of conventional, middle class Americans (or Asians or Europeans, as the case may be). This is the sort of thing that Lippard explores in On The Beaten Track.I found her observations on museums especially thought-provoking. Are museums good for the arts or are they elitist institutions that dictate the meaning of art to the masses? This is the kind of question the book raises, without providing any simple answers. While I found the subject matter fascinating, I didn't find the book especially easy to read. While this isn't necessarily bad (not all books are meant to be easy), I find Lippard's style of writing a bit abstruse. In places she quotes one artist or writer after the other (or mentions examples of their works) without tying the various threads together. The style is perhaps analagous to a collage (I believe the author is an artist), and some readers will probably love it. More left-brained readers (e.g. me) may find this a bit perplexing, but we can still appreciate the many important questions and insights brought out in these essays.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Like the title said, this book came sooner than I was expecting it too since I need this book for class beginning in about two weeks. The book looks brand new for a used one but I am not disappointed by where I purchased it at all!
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