Absolutely non-music-related, but still, this is amazingly cool. At one not-too-distant point in my life, I went on a seriously heavy travelogue-reading jag, devouring books by smart, quirky people going places nobody in their right mind (or, at least, nobody I actually know) ever goes to. Not all of it was great, I'll freely admit (sorry, Doug Lansky), but some of the travel writers I encountered were/are absolutely, mind-blowingly great: Lawrence Millman, Tim Cahill, Redmond O'Hanlon, Apsley Cherry-Garrard, Tim Severin, Tony Horwitz, Freya Stark, & George Packer, for a few.
Pico Iyer, though, was -- at the time, at least -- kind of the top of the top. As a writer, he's intensely thoughtful, able to take a bizarre, incongruous scene like, say, the title-inspiring moment of Video Night in Kathmandu, and transform it into a serious, intelligent, utterly brilliant meditation on the technologization and cultural saturation of society. He writes like Jimi Hendrix played guitar; that is, so jaw-droppingly well it doesn't make you want to necessarily pick up a guitar, since you're unlikely to be able to do what he can do, but just get hold of more of what he does.
That's my feeling about the guy, anyway. Which is why I think it's great that he's in town tonight to promote & read from (I'm assuming) his newest book, The Open Road: The Global Journey of the Fourteenth Dalai Lama. I haven't yet read it, sadly, so I'm going to have to point you to John Nova Lomax's excellent interview with Iyer on the subject, over here. It seems at first blush to be an oddball piece for Lomax, it's true, but it comes out really well -- I'd highly recommend checking it out.
And then, of course, going to see Iyer himself. He'll be at the Westin Galleria Hotel (5060 W. Alabama) tonight, Wed., April 29th; doors open at 6:30PM, with Iyer going on at 7PM, and tickets are $5 if you happen to be a member of the Asia Society (who's sponsoring the visit; thanks! although he's for some reason already listed under "Past Programs") and $10 if you're not... Hopefully it's not already sold out, btw; the flyer's got a number to call to RSVP, so get on it.
Labels: Arty Shit, H-Town News, Public Service Announcements, Random Rambling, Things To Do, Things To Read, Travel Stuffgaijin || Link || E-mail || 0 comments
All contents © 2010 Space City Rock, unless otherwise credited (photos used on the site excepted).