The Art of Travel


Alain De Botton

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Edmund Burke Character Analysis

An 18th-century Irish philosopher and statesman whose A Philosophical Enquiry into the Origin of Our Ideas of the Sublime and Beautiful revolutionized European thinking on the concept of the sublime. He argued that, whereas beautiful things please the senses through their sensible qualities, sublime things create a sense of awe by demonstrating humans’ inadequacy in the face of forces that infinitely exceed them and cannot be controlled by them.

Edmund Burke Quotes in The Art of Travel

The The Art of Travel quotes below are all either spoken by Edmund Burke or refer to Edmund Burke. 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:
The Familiar and the Foreign Theme Icon
). 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 6 Quotes

The value of landscapes would henceforth be decided not solely on the basis of formal aesthetic criteria (the harmony of colours, for example, or the arrangement of lines) or even economic or practical concerns, but rather according to the power of places to arouse the mind to sublimity.

Related Characters: Alain de Botton (speaker), Edmund Burke
Page Number: 163
Explanation and Analysis:
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Edmund Burke Character Timeline in The Art of Travel

The timeline below shows where the character Edmund Burke appears in The Art of Travel. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 6: On the Sublime
Art, Travel, and the Search for Happiness Theme Icon
The Receptive Self Theme Icon
...natural forces. In his bag, De Botton has brought the work of Irish philosopher Edmund Burke, who argued that things were sublime (as opposed to merely beautiful) when they suggested human... (full context)
The Receptive Self Theme Icon
...and God directs him to ponder sublime landscapes. This is the Book of Job, which Burke considered the Old Testament’s most sublime; Job is incredibly wealthy but suddenly loses nearly all... (full context)