I’m in Love with Rolf Potts

3 May

I Googled “is Rolf Potts married” (and “is Rolf Potts gay,” since that was a suggestion).  An investment of thirty seconds of surfing the results page didn’t get me anywhere; his relationship status is unclear.

In any event, I’m reading his book, “Marco Polo Didn’t Go There: Stories and Revelations from One Decade as a Postmodern Travel Writer.”  I’ve only made it through 5 chapters and 82 pages, but… I love it.

After trying in vain to read Paul Theroux and finding it extraordinarily tedious, Rolf is a delight.  He is real, he is nutty, he is funny.  Novel and enlightening, each short story (a.k.a. each chapter) includes a commentary track: “endnotes that reveal the ragged edges behind the experience and creation of each tale.”  The endnotes impart an honesty, perhaps even an intimacy, to his stories.

I don’t particularly like travel writing.  And I don’t particularly like short stories.  But I love this book.  That’s because the dude gets it; at least for me, travel is not about the places.  Sights and sounds and whatever don’t come through very well on the page; it tends to bore me.  What’s it’s about is the experience itself.  And Rolf has good, insightful thoughts and reflections about the experience of experiencing.  And dude can write (in a straightforward, non-pretentious way to appeals to yours truly).

Rolf, fancy a drink on the road?

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