It is comforting that travel should have an architecture and that it is possible to contribute a few stones to it, although the traveler is less like one who constructs landscapes -for that is a sedentary task- than like one who destroys them: like Baron von R. narrated by Hoffmann, who traveled the world collecting panoramas and when he considered it necessary for his pleasure or to create a beautiful viewpoint, he cut trees, stripped branches, flattened the roundness of the land, cut down entire forests or demolish farms, if they obstructed a view. But even destruction is a form of architecture, a deconstruction that follows certain rules and calculations, an art of disassembling and reassembling, or of creating another and different order: when a wall of leaves suddenly fell, opening the view to the ruins of a distant castle in the twilight, Baron von R. paused for a moment to contemplate the spectacle that he himself had staged and then hurried away, to never return.

Claudio Magris, Danube (1990)


(Header: Albrecht Altdorfer, Landscape with a Double Spruce (hand-coloured etching (c. 1521)