The Art of Travel

A European term, now generally considered archaic and often pejorative, that ordinarily denotes all of Asia but has been associated with different nations and regions throughout history. In the mid-1800s, a body of European Orientalist literature and poetry emerged, with a focus on the Middle East. The idea of the exotic, mystical, chaotic “Orient” inspired Gustave Flaubert to visit Egypt (of which, notably, only a small and sparsely-inhabited portion actually lies within Asia). Later, the term became more closely associated with East Asia.

The Orient Quotes in The Art of Travel

The The Art of Travel quotes below are all either spoken by The Orient or refer to The Orient. For each quote, you can also see the other terms 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 3 Quotes

Yet none of this meant that Flaubert’s original attraction to Egypt had been misconceived. He simply replaced an absurdly idealized image with a more realistic but nevertheless still profoundly admiring one, he exchanged a youthful crush for a knowledgeable love.

Related Characters: Alain de Botton (speaker), Gustave Flaubert
Page Number: 95
Explanation and Analysis:
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The Orient Term Timeline in The Art of Travel

The timeline below shows where the term The Orient appears in The Art of Travel. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 3: On the Exotic
The Familiar and the Foreign Theme Icon
Art, Travel, and the Search for Happiness Theme Icon
...the Middle East” in the early 1800s. Writers like Victor Hugo wrote extensively about “the Orient,” and Europeans became so fascinated with the Middle East’s seemingly-exotic customs that they even started... (full context)
The Familiar and the Foreign Theme Icon
Expectations vs. Reality Theme Icon
Art, Travel, and the Search for Happiness Theme Icon
...the French novelist Gustave Flaubert was one such European captivated by the idea of the Orient. He hated his “sterile, banal and laborious” life in the city of Rouen, wrote about... (full context)
The Familiar and the Foreign Theme Icon
Expectations vs. Reality Theme Icon
The Receptive Self Theme Icon
...for Egypt with his friend Maxime Du Camp. Flaubert recalled his “first sight of the Orient” as his ship approached the Egyptian shore, and he was thrilled to find himself amidst... (full context)
The Familiar and the Foreign Theme Icon
Art, Travel, and the Search for Happiness Theme Icon
...London, Flaubert’s hatred for the French bourgeoisie was what drove him to obsess over the “Orient.” He found France’s “extreme prudery, snobbery, smugness, racism and pomposity” so obscene that he wrote... (full context)
The Familiar and the Foreign Theme Icon
Expectations vs. Reality Theme Icon
The Receptive Self Theme Icon
...expectations, he claimed to have “few illusions” and even wrote to his mother that the Orient “extends far beyond the narrow idea I had of it.” (full context)