Barry Yourgrau wrestles with Internet distraction too?!

I found myself back at my laptop, Web surfing. It was all sinkingly familiar. I was suckling on the cyber teat in the face of gnashing anxiety. I realized (not for the first time) that thanks to new technology I’d harmed my capacity to press on through such anxiety. The same way computers had affected my handwriting. My muscles for sustaining focus had turned twitchy and flaccid. 

This passage in Barry Yourgrau’s latest book Mess really caught my attention as it opens up a facet of his life with idiosyncratic authenticity. And that’s really the crux of this book; it opens up Barry Yourgrau’s physical and mental world for us in distinctive poetic prose that delightfully almost verges on melodramatic at times. It’s a travelogue taking us through his life by way of an itinerary of personal belongings, attempts to wrangle their overwhelming abundance and actual travels—the chronicles comprising the narrative all rendered in the writing style that made Mr. Yourgrau’s fantastical travelogue, The Haunted Traveler, a unique joy to read.  Continue reading