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My friend and frequent co-traveler Lesli during a trip to Florence last December

This is a great description of what can be so intoxicating—and effective—about traveling as a way of assuaging a sorrow or loss. This passage is by Liesl Schillinger from her review of the novel Brooklyn by Colm Toibin in the
Times Book Review:

Every now and then, with a thrill of connection, you come across a passage in a book that feels as if it had been written with exact foreknowledge of your state of mind: a soothing, specific prescription for unquiet thoughts. During a long-ago solo trip to Rome — a self-­assigned distraction after a difficult breakup — I remember opening George Eliot’s “Silas Marner” while sitting at the window of a high room in a cold albergo (once a nuns’ cloister) as strains of conversation floated up from the courtyard. Describing her protagonist’s new start in a new town, Eliot wrote of the relief that “minds that have been unhinged from their old faith and love” may feel on finding themselves in a “new land, where the beings around them know nothing of their history, and share none of their ideas — where their mother earth shows another lap.” In such a setting, she wrote, “The past becomes dreamy because its symbols have all vanished, and the present too is dreamy because it is linked with no memories.”

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