About John Lilburne



Alain de Botton

This morning (28 October 2002) I read the last chapter of The Art of Travel by Alain de Botton.

Its an enjoyable book which was published this year by a philosopher born in 1969. I have also read his book The Consolations of Philosophy (2000).

According to his CV that he is now working on a book on hierarchy in the West to be called "Status Anxiety" to be published in 2004. Perhaps there are hints of this in the last few pages of The Art of Travel, where he writes of how our responses to the world are moulded by whom we are with.

Particularly interesting about The Art of Travel was his writing about art and asthetics. I found his explanations on what Van Gogh was doing in his paintings helpful.

Some attention is given to God, particularly in Chapter VI, On the Sublime. On page 169 he writes: "Because what is mightier than man has traditionally been called God, it does not seem unusual to start thinking of a deity in the Sinai." He sees a link between interest in sublime landscapes developing at a time when traditional beliefs in God began to wane (page 171) and on the link between God and sublime landscapes in the Bible's Book of Job.

By J.R. Lilburne, 28 October 2002. I give what I have written on this page to the public domain.

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