A Handbook for the Perfect Adventurer by Pierre Mac Orlan
Pierre Mac Orlan’s 1920 Handbook for the Perfect Adventurer was at once a paean to the adventure story, a tongue-in-cheek guidebook to the genre’s real-life practitioners and a grim if unspoken coda to the disasters of World War I. “It must be established as a law that adventure in itself does not exist,” Mac Orlan stipulates. “Adventure is in the mind of the one who pursues it, and no sooner is he able to touch it with his finger than it vanishes, to reappear much farther off in another form, at the limits of the imagination.” This handbook outlines two classes of adventurer: the active adventurer (sailors, soldiers, criminals) and the passive adventurer (sedentary parasites who draw sustenance from the exploits of the former). Roaming from battlefields to pirate ships to port-town taverns, and offering advice on reading, traveling and eroticism, Mac Orlan’s Handbook is ultimately a how-to manual for the imagination, and a formulation of the stark choice all would-be adventurers must face: to live or write.
Measures 4.5" wide x 7" tall, 104 pages, printed in the USA.