White Sands: Experiences from the Outside World
Taking in a scattered series of quests for human immortality and elusive natural wonders, this thoughtful and erudite author explores how we inhabit space and time. Geoff Dyer draws broadly from the physical and philosophical meanderings of a peripatetic life to write of ‘experiences’ in places such as; New Mexico’s White Sands monument and Lightning Field installation, Egypt’s famous mausoleums, Beijing’s Forbidden City, Gauguin’s Tahiti, and the Watts Towers of Los Angeles. While those who love Bruce Chatwin in Patagonia will be inexorably attracted to these essays, Dyer is very much of this millennium and the style and journeys he makes are uniquely his own. The mesmeric lightness of his writing is made all the more interesting by the author’s refusal to be contained within the boundaries of memoir, treatise or travelogue. Mixing acute observation with wit, philosophy, literary references and popular culture, he reflects on how we employ linkages with the past, with people and with places to locate ourselves in the world. The author speaks of a ‘life so interesting’ he’d ‘like to stick around forever.’ He helps make it so for us.