chapter  7
21 Pages

THE MEDITERRANEAN

To take holidays as the focus for a short history of consumerism is to study, as I have suggested, the form of the correspondences the culture of capitalism has effected between the structure of our feelings, the definitions and orderings of our time, and the arrangements of our geography. The vacation predicates time and money to be spent finding the right place to have the best feelings. It is hardly a surprise that the place which best gave rise to the feelings in question was the Mediterranean littoral. Those seas, rocks, groves and sands gathered and intensified the images of leisure, luxury and freedom which started life, one could say, in the poems and architecture of the small city-states which, two and a half millennia ago, gave birth to some rough ideas of beauty, selfhood and human flourishing.