This book is made up of three lengthy yet fascinating essays that, along with his own travel, examine the wanderlust of certain writers he admires, past and present. First among them is Alexis Saint-Leger, aka Saint-John Perse, a French diplomat cum poet who in 1921  traveled from Bejing to Ulaanbaatar in what Christopher Merrill deems an "attempt to grasp life in its entirety" and which dovetailed into a book-length poem, Anabasis. Merrill's own 2007 travel take him from Syria to Jordan to I...
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