Travel and self-loathing

A fascinating travel essay, set in Bali and written by Evan James, was published last week on the Paris Review website. "Stretches of acute self-loathing, though, are a natural, perhaps even desirable byproduct of travel. I met many variations on an Eat, Pray, Love theme in Ubud who might disagree: women and some men who wanted only to feel the wind in their hair as they motorbiked into their bliss, whose billowing pants and serene, smiling frontispieces suggested every satisfaction, whose lust for remedy drove them to many local healers, much processing, much groping of and after the idea of a more authentic life—a concept as slippery as a fresh fish, and eventually as fragrant as a spoiled one."

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