A 17th-century French scientist, mathematician, theologian, and philosopher whose most famous work, Pensées (“Thoughts”), Alain de Botton frequently cites throughout The Art of Travel. Most importantly, John Ruskin’s arguments for the virtues of drawing echo Pascal’s earlier belief that people often admire paintings and other representations of real objects instead of admiring the objects themselves.
Blaise Pascal Quotes in The Art of Travel
The The Art of Travel quotes below are all either spoken by Blaise Pascal or refer to Blaise Pascal. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one: Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Vintage edition of The Art of Travel published in 2002.).
Chapter 9 Quotes
“The sole cause of man’s unhappiness is that he does not know how to stay quietly in his room”—Pascal, Pensées, 136.
Blaise Pascal Character Timeline in The Art of Travel
The timeline below shows where the character Blaise Pascal appears in The Art of Travel. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 6: On the Sublime
...Sinai Desert from the Israeli resort town of Eilat. On the plane ride, he reads Pascal’s Pensées, including a passage where the philosopher writes: “When I consider … the small space... (full context)
Chapter 7: On Eye-Opening Art
...enthusiastic about van Gogh and Provence’s landscape, he also thinks of a distressing quote from Pascal: “how vain painting is, exciting admiration by its resemblance to things of which we do... (full context)
Chapter 9: On Habit