Travelogue: The Package Tour

John Fowles – Harpers

These are excerpts of excerpts of John Fowles’ (The French Lieutenant’s Woman and The Magus) diaries, published in the Jan. 2005 edition of Harpers.
3 January 1966
Night at a hotel by London Airport. The sound of the jets boiling up into the darkness. Going further than this world, and somehow this seems beautiful, this new power of voyage; though in reality it is uglier than any other way of traveling in the history of man.
4 January
To Boston. New England is sharp cold, but in a brilliant clear sunlight. At dusk it is a black and orange city, very artic and attractive in color, though a mess architecturally. Flowers from Ned Bradford, whiskey from Julian — we feel enveloped by the Roman generosity to favored guests. Once again the Roman qualities of America overwhelm one: everything based on power, on mean gold rather than the golden mean. America is in a way the inability to think of gold metaphorically.
24 January
Up to New York and cold, and straight on to London. Cold and wet and grey… I need the sea, the darkness at nights; in a way I even need the coldness, the damp, all the living problems this old bitch of a place poses. One must retreat at my age into what one is; stop running after the dream images; condense; protect what the age assaults or ignores.

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