I dare say my travel art movement needs writers as much as it requires painters. The world is already ripe with travel writers, you say, but let me ask this question: what separates a travel writer in an art movement from any group of travel writers in the Frommers’ section at the local Barnes & Noble? I believe it is the fact that an art movement requires bias to have meaning. If there is no bias, no prejudice of partiality… then there can be no movement. No desire for change, no reason to speak when not spoken to… An artist can create mediocrity without passion… but passion cannot live without bias.
I have previously mentioned works by authors/artists such as William Least Heat-Moon. His ability to take a simple trip and radiate the region’s history and social implications has staggered many a reader since his first book “Blue Highways” broke-out in 1983. The most amazing aspect of his travelogue that continues in “PrairyErth” and “River Horse” is the slight hint of fictionalized reality. While his stories are highly accurate from the point of research and actual events experienced by the author; I know that I have often felt, as a member of his audience, that the stories worked because the approach was slightly manipulated via the addition of symbols and personal revelations. Likewise, Kerouac lived and wrote in the same manner. Stylizing his life around an image of purposeful rebellion in search of enlightenment; then writing in a reflective manner that ritualized the transition from impetuous cross-country driving and train hopping to mountain trekking and drunken meditation. I make these accusations with great admiration… you see, the world is full of human experience, but it takes a truly great artist to draw from these experiences a seemingly inconsequential flash of life-altering significance.
Be it poems or by-lines, novels or short stories humanity requires the written revelations of a dharma bum moving deliberately across the face of the earth. – DN