Tuesday, July 29, 2008

How to be a Travel Writer

Use Italics as in, "We drank poffizzi, the bitter liqueur the peasants distil from gravel, and watched the sun go down over the zapoffa as the women, clad in their brilliantly coloured afaps, came in from the fields singing bipustor, their songs of love, death, automatic weapons and diseases of the goat." There you go. Piece of cake. Make a million.

12 comments:

  1. And no matter how obscure the place, it is important to always be more obscure than everyone else, as in:

    But just a short, six-day hike across the kraftika takes you to the heart of the real Albania, a million miles away from the beaten track where busloads of snap-happy tourists jostle for position in the (purely artificial) tavernas. Here, high up in the gotflobs, the sun is reflected in the grey eyes of the vlastikos – those proud and weather-worn warrior-farmers – who thoughtfully sip from steaming bowls of krapturd, just as their great-grandfathers’ great-grandfathers done it too.

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  2. Oh, for the travel writers of yesteryear. Stout chaps like Paddy Leigh Fermor and Wilfred Thesiger. Fellows who you would be happy to share a trench and a dinner with; although I suppose that Wilf had his silent and grumpy moments.

    I, on the other hand, can't even work out how to do italics in these comments. I am but a grain of rice before the feet of the Master, Bryan, and his worthy disciple Brit.

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  3. I thought Bryan was my disciple.

    To make italics you put an i inside the two pointy bracket things above the comma and full stop in front of the word, and a forward slash and an i inside the two pointy bracket things above the comma and full stop after the word.

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  4. What, like this? clever...
    Oh and welcome back Bryan. So right about travel writing - the stuff in the papers is even worse. Has anyone ever read to the end of one without developing a strong urge to blow their brains out?

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  5. who reads to the end of anything in newspapers? (except for Mr. A's excellent articles, of course. cough)

    Eric Newby was supposed to be good, wasn't he? I started a book of his about cycling around Ireland (was a fridge involved? I can't remember.) I gave up after a long, tedious chapter devoted to choosing the right saddle... if I'd had a gun, Nige...

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  6. Actually, Bry, if you continued in this vein, you might well make a million. Think on it and call the man Miller.

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  7. Well, we learn something new every day, is that what italics look like, thought they were a Winehouse backing band. Laurie Lee was good, told porkies in italics.

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  8. He's back, the Bry is back as a matter of fact!

    The itals thing sounds too difficult for me. I prefer in and out, no hunting and pecking for obscure keys (this despite being a person with an accent mark on her last name, which is prob why i don't ever fully sign it here anymore).

    Why hasn't Mahlerman come on to do a riff on Albanian Liebfraumilch, the special drink only matrons of that land can make?

    I hate grappas, btw, and all that homemade nasty stuff you get in Italy, etc. Give me a Pommard any day.

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  9. I believed that post till about halve way through :-(

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  10. Tumby WoodsideJuly 30, 2008 1:43 pm

    Ah, proffizi! The taste of it still lingers in the memory.

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  11. Grappa? You're in Greece. Tsiporo is the rotgut of choice. But aftre one or two I don't think I can navigate the cpathcha thingiy...

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