“The Ragged Edges behind Each Tale”: Interview with Rolf Potts, Postmodern Travel Writer


Here’s an interesting interview with Rolf Potts in the San Francisco Chronicle: “Travel writer explains fudging stories,” by John Flinn. Potts touches on the concept of mindful travel, the age-old “traveler vs. tourist” debate, and, most interestingly to me, explains why he decided annotate the stories in his new book with end notes:

“I was trying to reveal the ragged edges behind each tale … I wanted to remind the reader of the gap between story and experience, traveler and writer, truth and presentation; I wanted to show how the laws of nature and the laws of storytelling are separate entities.”

Rolf Potts has reported from over fifty countries for dozens of major publications. His first book, Vagabonding, is a kind of independent traveler’s manifesto; his latest is Marco Polo Didn’t Go There: Stories and Revelations from One Decade as a Postmodern Travel Writer (Travelers’ Tales Guides). Anyone read it yet?

—Link to SF Gate interview with Rolf

—Rolf’s interview with me from 2005

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