In keeping with our school theme for this week, Maps and Globes, I think I can pick out some classic journeys that will amaze, astound, and enlighten. Any journey story would be better than Steinbeck. Bleck! And I already listed Alice in the Best Laughs category.
THE BEST JOURNEYS (according to the Penguin List)
On the Road
The Grapes of Wrath
Three Men in a Boat
Jerome K. Jerome
Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland
Best Journeys (according to Semicolon)
The Odyssey by Homer.
Sing to me of the man, Muse, the man of twists and turns
driven time and again off course, once he had plundered
the hallowed heights of Troy.
Many cities of men he saw and learned their minds,
many pains he suffered, heartsick on the open sea,
fighting to save his life and bring his comrades home. Translation by Robert Fagles.
Pilgrim’s Progress by John Bunyan.
Then said Evangelist, “If this be thy condition, why standest thou still?” He answered, “Because I know not whither to go.” Then he gave him a parchment roll, and there was written within, “Fly from the wrath to come.”
The man therefore read it, and looking upon Evangelist very carefully, said, “Whither must I fly?” Then said Evangelist, (pointing with his finger over a very wide field,) “Do you see yonder wicket-gate?” The man said, “No.” Then said the other, “Do you see yonder shining light?” He said, “I think I do.” Then said Evangelist, “Keep that light in your eye, and go up directly thereto, so shalt thou see the gate; at which, when thou knockest, it shall be told thee what thou shalt do.” So I saw in my dream that the man began to run. Now he had not run far from his own door when his wife and children, perceiving it, began to cry after him to return; but the man put his fingers in his ears, and ran on crying, Life! life! eternal life! So he looked not behind him, but fled towards the middle of the plain.
Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift.
Thus, gentle reader, I have given thee a faithful History of my Travels for Sixteen Years, and above Seven Months; wherein I have not been so studious of Ornament as Truth. I could perhaps like others have astonished you with strange improbable Tales; but I rather chose to relate plain Matter of Fact in the simplest Manner and Style, because my principal Design was to Inform, and not to amuse thee.
It is easy for us who travel into remote Countries, which are seldom visited by Englishmen or other Europeans, to form Descriptions of wonderful Animals both at Sea and Land. Whereas a Traveller’s chief Aim should be to make Men wiser and better, and to improve their Minds by the bad as well as good Example of what they deliver concerning foreign Places.
The Hobbit, or There and Back Again by JRR Tolkien.
“That leaves you just ten minutes. You will have to run,” said Gandalf.
“But—,” said Bilbo.
“No time for it,” said the wizard.
“But—,” said Bilbo again.
“No time for that either! Off you go!”
To the end of his days Bilbo could never remember how he found himself outside, without a hat, a walking stick, or any money, or anything that he usually tok when he went out; leaving his second breakfast half-finished and quite unwashed-up, pushing his keys into Gandalf’s hands, and running as fast as his furry feet could carry him down the lane, past the great Mill, across the Water, and then on for a mile or more.
Byzantium by Stephen Lawhead.
I prayed as fervently as ever I have in my life. I sought wisdom and guidance, and my seeking was sincere, I swear it! I prayed:
King of the Mysteries, who wast and art,
Before the elements, before the ages,
King eternal, comely in aspect,
who reigns for ever, grant me three things:
Keeness to discern your will,
Wisdom to understand it,
Courage to follow where it leads.