Keep on cruising
1 August 2021
words by @ale_theia
As a child I had two dreams: to become a world-famous writer and to go around the world with more calm than Phileas Fogg. I’m still working on the first one, there is always time to make it happen, or at least to continue to believe in it. Stephen King’s book On writing that I’m just finishing reading is an excellent starting point for not giving up, and I recommend it, whether you like his works, need some tools to write or generally love autobiography.
I have not been able to fulfill even the second one for now, even if it remains on the list of things to do, maybe not all at once and maybe not right now that the pandemic continues to rage, but finally I no longer feel so crazy to think about go back to do it. I am not so interested in the challenge – it is always better to compete with yourself than with someone else – as much as the many experiences that each stage could reserve. On the other hand, as they say, more important than the destination is the journey, and if the destination coincides with the starting point, how can I disagree?
The protagonist of the novel by Jules Verne, published for the first time in 1872, plays for 20 thousand pounds challenging the members of the club he belongs to: he will be able to circumnavigate the globe within the established term of 80 days, with a final twist. I bet we have all read this masterpiece – raise your hand if you have never done it and in case you recover it, along with King’s book, I rediscovered it for the seventh or maybe eighth time in 2020, as always falling in love – and that you don’t need to remind you of the rest of the plot.
Verne was inspired by the world in which he lived: a few years earlier, in 1869, the Suez Canal had been inaugurated; the following year George Francis Train had accomplished the same feat that the French writer narrates in a compelling and certainly imaginative way. The world he lived in his time was also inspired by the novel. In 1889, for the New York World, journalist Nellie Bly managed to complete her journey in 72 days, setting a record. She was also the first woman to do it without the constant help of other men. The story of this extraordinary journalist deserves an in-depth study, and I also leave you this idea to fill the Augustan idleness.
Travel is one of the pivotal themes of FrameS (and Federico Serrani collections ; do you remember the first one was dedicated to Jules Verne himself?), of many of the guests who tell each other and, I risk a new bet, I think of all the people who read it. Not necessarily a trip around the world. It can be the journey we make every morning to go to work, a trip, a journey with the mind thanks to art, music, literature, a journey to discover places so close that we hadn’t taken into consideration before – spoiler : The next episode of the podcast will delve into this last theme with an exceptional guest.
Stefania and I invite you to share with us the images of your next trips, from Puglia to Scandinavia, from Peru to Taiwan: tag @ federico.serrani and #frames and take us with you.