Utne Blogs > Literature

My Airplane, My Friend

 by Bennett Gordon


Tags: Great Writing, airplanes, travel, flying, Granta,

Airplane AffectionA little more affection for airplanes could fight the fear of flying, Javier Marías writes for Granta. He would feel a lot more at ease if pilots would show the respect for their planes that ship captains once displayed for their vessels. Marías tends to anthropomorphize the planes he rides on, thinking of them as a living entity, capable of its own personality. He writes:

Given how often we travel in planes, the odd thing about our relationship with them—those complex machines endowed with movement to which we surrender ourselves and that transport us through the air—is that it isn’t more ‘personal’, or more ‘animal’, or more ‘sailor-like’, if you prefer.... That’s what I would like to see, less cool efficiency and more affection.

Source: Granta

bill webb_5
8/18/2009 7:24:38 PM

It's easier to become personally involved with a ship that you partner with for months or years than with the constantly-changing lineup of aircraft that most professional pilots encounter. A line pilot may fly three or four different aircraft per week, and sometimes won't get back in the same one for months. Pilots tend to be in love with flying and airplanes in general, but airline pilots, when they cleave to a true love, usually find it in a smaller aircraft that is theirs alone.