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Travels: Collected Writings, 1950-1993 Paperback – Deckle Edge, August 23, 2011


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Ecco; Original edition (August 23, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 006206763X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062067630
  • Product Dimensions: 8.1 x 5.5 x 1.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #401,581 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

“Bowles [is] a writer of power and precision… [TRAVELS] reads like a fable and makes one want to follow in his footsteps.” (Boston Globe)

From the Back Cover

Inmore than forty essays and articles that range from Paris to Ceylon, Thailand to Kenya, and, of course, Morocco, the great twen-tieth-century American writer encapsulates his long and full life, and sheds light on his brilliant fiction. Whether he’s recalling the cold-water artists’ flats of Paris’s Left Bank or the sun-worshipping eccentrics of Tangier, Paul Bowles imbues every piece with a deep intelligence and the acute perspective of his rich experience of the world. Woven throughout are photographs from the renowned author’s private archive, which place him, his wife, the writer Jane Bowles, and their many friends and compatriots in the landscapes his essays bring so vividly to life.

With an introduction by Paul Theroux and a chronology by Daniel Halpern


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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By jibli on August 25, 2011
Format: Paperback
This book has been available in the U.K. for over a year, with a different publisher and different cover.
In this volume there are 39 travel pieces by the writer Paul Bowles published between 1950 and 1993. Forteen appeared in the magazine "Holiday" and five in "The Nation". Eight were collected previously in "Their Heads Are Green And Their Hands Are Blue"(1963) and another eleven in Spanish in "Dias y Viajes" (Seix Barral 1993). Six come from essays written in other's books. More than half of these pieces are about North Africa, where he lived and four about Ceylon (Sri Lanka) where he bought a small island. Pre-war France, Spain and India have two essays each.
There are two summaries of his life, one by the author himself and the other by Daniel Halpern. The introduction is by Paul Theroux and would be forgettable were it not for its errors and idiocies.
Those familiar with Bowles writings will not be disappointed, for his attention to his surroundings, intense interest in other cultures, and the art of how to communicate with the reader are delightful.
Why 1993 was chosen as a cut-off date I cannot say. I know of at least one essay written later that might have been included here. He died in 1999.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Leland on November 7, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
When we think of Paul Bowles, we often think of a quirky man living an unconventional bohemian lifestyle in Tangier - someone who embodies the very word, "decadent". These travel essays show us another side of Bowles - that of a sensitive and highly observant master of the essay. The prose style of the writings are nothing short of brilliant. Bowles is clear, detailed, organized, poetic and entertaining. Of particular interest to me is Bowles roundabout take on neo-colonialism and the Third World after World War Two. Bowles' clear sympathies lie with the underdog and the downtrodden - like the Berbers of North Africa or the nomads in the Sahara, and show Bowles to be light years ahead of the developments of today's Arab Spring. In addition, Bowles take on the new and old colonizers: the French, the Spanish, the British, and the newly arrived Americans - runs from amused to slyly skeptical and at times, openly horrified by the bad behavior of these countries. Even the city Arabs of Morocco as opposed to the mountain Berbers do not evade Bowles' sharp eye. Note that Bowles writes of a period of profound transition (the 50s to the 70s) in North Africa. During this period of time, the U.S. went from World War Two hero and savior to co-conspirator and neo-colonizer. Why? Why, for example, were the French using an American Air Base in the early 60s in Morocco to conduct bombing missions over Algeria? This was at a time the U.S. was supposedly neutral with regard to the conflict in Algeria. In fact, I remember as a child in Kenitra, the U.S. Navy denying the existence of the bombing missions, but on a daily basis, I could see the French bombers take off from the U.S./French airbase from my nearby house. Did the U.S.Read more ›
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
If you have ever yearned to read another great Paul Bowles book but knew it was not to be, than I recommend you go on a travel with him to the most exotic parts of our world. Through the eyes and sensibilities of Mr. Bowles I felt the stirrings of danger in Morocco, Ceylon and even So. America. As an American Paul Bowles traveled extensively to learn about himself and put it on the page for us all to experience. Please don't miss this one.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By C Bon on June 12, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
There is no one else like Paul Bowles.... and this collection of essays, which includes many magazine articles previously unpublished in book form, is valuable for those who have read almost everything else by him. Unfortunately, much of what is said here, from one essay to the next, is repetitive: literally whole paragraphs lifted from one article on Tangier to the next and often the same anecdotes told again. I'd recommend Bowles' own collection of travel writings, "Their Heads Are Green and Their Hands Are Blue" in which every essay is thoughtful and unique. Or his short stories which are always superb.
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Very interesting collection of travel stories . A must if you are interested in Paris before 1940. The Morocco stories are a window into an era that has died. I found this collection to be very valuable .
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