Lending further merit to my sense that the shape of things to come will have “Ballardian” contours, London’s Heathrow Airport has just established Alain De Botton as its first “writer in residence.” Leaving aside such notions as to how De Botton’s supposed to “reside” in an airport (he’s sleeping in an adjacent Sofitel), the author of The Art of Travel and How Proust Can Change Your Life starts his day like any other writer—at a desk, typing at his laptop.
De Botton’s desk just happens to be, though, in the middle of Terminal 5, and his typing appears in real time on a screen behind him. What’s he writing about? De Botton’s book title says it all: A Week at the Airport: A Heathrow Diary. If you think this smells like a stunt, you’re right. As Dan Glover, from Heathrow’s PR agency, says,
the campaign sought to stimulate ?