In Alain de Bottons engaging book, The Art of Travel, he distinguishes between the anticipation and recollection of travel versus the reality of actually traveling.
When we anticipate, we study travel brochures and create in our imagination all sorts of exotic adventures, lying ahead of us. Once really there, we photograph the Eiffel Tower with our friends or family, their arms slung over one anothers shoulders and grinning into the camera. That forms the recollection, the moments we choose to remember.
Magically gone from memory are the delayed flight, the lousy food and the hotel room overlooking the alley, where the garbage collectors banged tins at 5am. But, if we otherwise enjoy ourselves, we select those good moments and photograph them to construct a different reality from the real reality.
De Bottons next idea is fascinating. He says thats exactly what the artist does. Whether writing a novel, painting a picture or scoring a symphony, the artist imagines the outline of the work [anticipates the delights of the trip] then selects that which is felt to have artistic value [forgets the garbage men and includes friends at the Eiffel Tower]. Just as the...