Quotation by Paul Fussell

"The age of independent travel is drawing to an end," said E.M. Forster back in 1920, when it had been increasingly clear for decades that the mass production inevitable in the late industrial age had generated its own travel-spawn, tourism, which is to travel as plastic is to wood. If travel is mysterious, even miraculous, and often lonely and frightening, tourism is commonsensical, utilitarian, safe, and social, "that gregarious passion," the traveler Patrick Leigh Fermor calls it, "which destroys the object of its love." Not self-directed but externally enticed, as a tourist you go not where your own curiosity beckons but where the industry decrees you shall go. Tourism soothes, shielding you from the shocks of novelty and menace, confirming your prior view of the world rather than shaking it up. It obliges you not just to behold conventional things but to behold them in the approved conventional way.
Paul Fussell (b. 1924), U.S. historian, critic, educator. "Travel, Tourism, Etc.," Thank God for the Atom Bomb and Other Essays, Ballantine (1988).
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