Bruce Chatwin on Travel.

Bruce Chatwin in his flat designed by John Pawson in 1982. Photo by François Halard.

<<Gradually the idea for a book began to take shape. It was to be a wildly ambitious and intolerant work, a kind of ‘Anatomy of Restlessness‘ that would enlarge on Pascal’s dictum about the man sitting quietly in a room. The argument, roughly, was as follows: that in becoming human, man had acquired, together with his straight legs and striding walk, a migratory ‘drive’ or instinct to walk long distances through the seasons; that this ‘drive’ was inseparable from his central nervous system; and, that, when warped in conditions of settlement, it found outlets in violence, greed, status-seeking or a mania for the new. This would explain why mobile societies such as the gypsies were egalitarian, thing-free and resistant to change; also why, to re-establish the harmony of the First State, all the great teachers – Buddha, Lao-tse, St Francis – had set the perpetual pilgrimage at the heart of their message and told their disciples, literally, to follow The Way.>>

― Bruce Chatwin, Anatomy of Restlessness: Selected Writings, 1969-1989

[Photo via François Halard.  Chatwin’s apartment designed by John Pawson in 1982.]

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a curious person still searching for the poem that Nezami Ganjavi wrote about the prince who toured his kingdom only to find crumbling structures, causing him to reflect on the transience of life.

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