The Gnostic Tourist: Gambling, Fly-Fishing, and the Seduction of the Middle Class

Wayne Fife


Borrowing techniques from creative non-fiction, this article explores the parallels between gambling and fly-fishing in late modern capitalism. It introduces the concept of gnostic tourism and argues that some forms of contemporary leisure create moments of singularity in which the actor comes to feel as though he or she has penetrated to the heart of a deep secret. This, in turn, creates an affective state that fuels serial consumption. Implications are explored in relation to the potential for a more critical form of political consciousness.


serial consumption; gambling; fly-fishing; gnostic tourism; play; late capitalism

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