Consciousness Thought

The Art of Wandering: The Writer as Walker by Merlin Coverley

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By Merlin Coverley

A philosophical heritage of that unusual yet prolific hybrid—the author as walker

From the peripatetic philosophers of historical Greece to the streets of 20th-century London, Paris, and ny, the figure of author as walker has persevered to adapt throughout the centuries, the thinker and the Romantic giving approach to the experimentalist and radical. From pilgrim to pedestrian, flâneur to stalker, the names may well switch, however the task of strolling continues to be consistent, making a literary culture encompassing philosophy and poetry, the unconventional and the manifesto; a convention which this ebook explores intimately. at the present time, because the determine of the wanderer returns to the vanguard of the general public mind's eye, writers and walkers world wide are reengaging with the tips which lively previous generations—for the walker is once more at the march, mapping new territory and recording new visions of the panorama.

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14. ’ Ingold, Being Alive, p. 40. See also Jan Bremmer, ‘Walking, standing and sitting in ancient Greek culture’, in A Cultural History of Gesture, ed. by J. Bremmer & H. Roodenburg, Oxford: Polity Press, pp. 15–35 12 Leslie Stephen, ‘In Praise of Walking’, in The Pleasures of Walking, ed. by Edwin Valentine Mitchell, 18–38, p. 24 13 Solnit, p. 17 14 Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Confessions (1782), trans. by JM Cohen, Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1954, p. 167 15 The details of Rousseau’s peripatetic existence following his flight from Geneva have been summarised as follows: ‘He then made his own way as a footman in Turin, a student in a choir school in Annecy, a lover of a baroness in Chambéry, an 35 Art master:Layout 1 21/6/12 13:52 Page 36 Merlin Coverley interpreter to a Levantine mountebank, an itinerant musician, a private tutor, and then a secretary inVenice.

156 39 Belloc, The Path to Rome, pp. 328–9 40 Marples, p. 155 41 Werner Herzog, Of Walking in Ice (1978), trans. by Marje Herzog & Alan Greenberg, New York: Free Association, 2007, Foreword 42 Herzog, Of Walking in Ice, pp. 42 & 17 43 Herzog, Of Walking in Ice, pp. 7 & 14 44 Herzog, Of Walking in Ice, p. 68 45 Werner Herzog, Herzog on Herzog, ed. by Paul Cronin, London: Faber, 2002, p. There is no real expression in English. I would call it travelling on foot. And travelling on foot is something that we have lost out of our civilisation.

Elsewhere, Roger Gilbert writes:‘The earliest literary walk occurs quite literally in the beginning; that is, in Genesis. ’ Roger Gilbert, Walks in theWorld: Representation and Experience in Modern American Poetry, Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1991, p. 35 33 Art master:Layout 1 21/6/12 13:52 Page 34 Merlin Coverley 5 Francesco Careri, Walkscapes: Walking as an Aesthetic Practice, Barcelona: Editorial Gustavo Gili, 2002, pp. The concept of Homo Ludens, or ‘playing man’ was the brainchild of Dutch historian, Johan Huizinga, who was to stress the importance of the element of play in the development of culture and society.

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