2°E with Rolf Potts in Paris

From bicycling across Burma, to shopping for donkeys in the Libyan Desert, to being drugged and robbed in Istanbul, to traversing Israel on foot… Rolf has had his fair share of epic adventures. He has dedicated most of his life to writing about experiences that communicate the glorious complexity and possibility of being alive. In his books, Rolf shares the spirit and philosophy of independent travel. Through the wonderfully voyeuristic ‘Marco Polo Didn’t Go There’ and the Zeitgeist defining ‘Vagabonding’, Rolf has inspired an entire generation (including us) to go out and see the world.

Remixing Reality

Literary criticism/collage essay: In his literary manifesto Reality Hunger, David Shields argues for artistic plagiarism and the end of traditional narrative. Rolf’s response — embedded in a story about getting drugged robbed overseas — appropriates its own flavor of plagiarism to counter Shields’ argument.

Canon Fodder

Essay/Reportage: When allegations surfaced that parts of Greg Mortenson’s memoir “Three Cups of Tea” had been fabricated, reports noted that the book is “required reading” for U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan. Various other branches of the military promote titles like “Freakonomics” and “Starship Troopers.” Why is this the case, and what do these non-military books offer to combat-bound soldiers?

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