By By (photographer) Richard Baker By (author) Alain de Botton
From the bestselling writer of The artwork of commute comes a wittily fascinating exploration of the unusual "non-place" that he believes is the resourceful heart of our civilization.Given unheard of entry to 1 of the world’s busiest airports as a “writer-in-residence,” Alain de Botton stumbled on it to be a exhibit for lots of of the key crosscurrents of the trendy world—from our religion in know-how to our destruction of nature, from our worldwide interconnectedness to our romanticizing of the unique. He met tourists from everywhere and spoke with every body from luggage handlers to pilots to the airport chaplain. Weaving jointly those conversations and his personal observations—of every thing from the poetry of room provider menus to the eerie silence in the course of the runway at midnight—de Botton has produced a unprecedented meditation on a spot that the majority people by no means decelerate sufficient to work out essentially. Lavishly illustrated in colour by way of well known photographer Richard Baker, per week on the Airport finds the airport in all its turbulence and soullessness and—yes—even good looks.
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Extra resources for A Week at the Airport (Vintage International Original)
The real origins of these qualities lay not in training courses or employee benefits but, for example, in the loving atmosphere that had reigned a quarter of a century earlier in a house in Cheshire, where two parents had brought up a future staff member with benevolence and humour – all so that today, without any thanks being given to those parents (a category deserving to be generally known as the true Human Resources department of global capitalism), he would have both the will and the wherewithal to reassure an anxious student on her way to the gate to catch BA048 to Philadelphia.
It was humblingly and thought-provokingly nicer than anywhere else I had ever seen at an airport, and perhaps in my life. There were leather armchairs, fireplaces, marble bathrooms, a spa, a restaurant, a concierge, a manicurist and a hairdresser. One waiter toured the lounge with plates of complimentary caviar, foie gras and smoked salmon, while a second made circuits with éclairs and strawberry tartlets. ‘For what purpose is all the toil and bustle of this world?
Safe passage through security did have one advantage, at least for those plagued (like the author) by a vague sense of their own culpability. A noiseless, unchecked progress through the detectors allowed one to advance into the rest of the terminal with a feeling akin to that one may experience on leaving church after confession or synagogue on the Day of Atonement, momentarily absolved and relieved of some of the burden of one’s sins. 2 There was a good deal of shopping to be done on the other side of security, where more than one hundred separate retail outlets vied for the attention of travellers – a considerably greater number than were to be found in the average shopping centre.
A Week at the Airport (Vintage International Original) by By (photographer) Richard Baker By (author) Alain de Botton