Geoff Dyer has the Greatest Titles

I just finished reading Geoff Dyer's book Yoga for People who Can't be Bothered to do it, which is sort of a travel book. Or is it the antithesis of a travel book? Dyer passes himself off as someone who obviously lacks the attention span to write books, even though he keeps writing books -- somehow a likeable pose.

In this book he portrays himself traveling all over the world, mostly in order to hang out and be sardonically clever in an English sort of way. Most people have probably lost a cherished pair of sunglasses, or wandered around Amsterdam trying to remember where their hotel is. Dyer makes experiences like the focus of his book. He makes me wonder if maybe the extreme futility of traveling is actually the point of it. Any potential epiphany is short-circuited before it can begin, for example:

"... for the first time ever I was bored by what I was interested in. I didn't fight it."

He has this style of writing down. Is ironic British self-deprecation actually elitist?

Robert Birnbaum interviewed Dyer about this book for Identity Theory six years back. I just started reading Dyer's new novel Jeff in Venice, Death in Varanasi -- more on that later. Meanwhile here's a link to an art opening I will be at on Friday, featuring photography and sculptures by Chris Farris, another virtuoso of living in the moment.

And here's G. K. Chesterton, summarizing a letter he read in a newspaper -- "A man wrote to say that he accepted nothing but Solipsism, and added that he had often wondered it was not a more common philosophy."

2 thoughts on “Geoff Dyer has the Greatest Titles”

  1. You are yourself a complete Solipsist, and everyone who comments on your blog is a figment of your own imagination.

  2. I’ve been accused of heckling the readers at my own reading series, so it makes perfect sense that I would use my own blog to carry on arguments with myself.

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