Wanderlust: A History of Walking

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9780670882090: Wanderlust: A History of Walking

A unique and captivating exploration of the cultural, psychological, and creative uses of walking, from "a writer of startling freshness and precision" (The New York Times Book Review)

What does it mean to be out walking in the world, whether in a landscape or a metropolis, on a pilgrimage or a protest march? In Wanderlust: A History of Walking, Rebecca Solnit draws together many histories--of anatomical evolution and city design, of treadmills and labyrinths, of walking clubs and sexual mores--to create a portrait of the range of possibilities for this most basic act. Arguing that walking as history means walking for pleasure and for political, aesthetic, and social meaning, Solnit homes in on the walkers whose everyday and extreme acts have shaped our culture, from the peripatetic philosophers of ancient Greece to the poets of the Romantic Age, from the perambulations of the Surrealists to the ascents of mountaineers.

The first general history of walking, Solnit's book finds a profound relationship between walking and thinking, walking and culture, and argues for the necessity of preserving the time and space in which to walk in an ever-more automobile-dependent and accelerated world. With delightful profiles of some of the most significant walkers in history and fiction--from Wordsworth to Gary Snyder, from Rousseau to Argentina's Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo, from Jane Austen's Elizabeth Bennet to Andre Breton's Nadja--Wanderlust offers a provocative examination of the interplay between the body, the imagination, and the world around the walker.

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Review :

The ability to walk on two legs over long distances distinguishes Homo sapiens from other primates, and indeed from every other species on earth. That ability has also yielded some of the best creative work of our species: the lyrical ballads of the English romantic poets, composed on long walks over hill and dale; the speculations of the peripatetic philosophers; the meditations of footloose Chinese and Japanese poets; the exhortations of Henry David Thoreau and Walt Whitman.

Rebecca Solnit, a thoughtful writer and spirited walker, takes her readers on a leisurely journey through the prehistory, history, and natural history of bipedal motion. Walking, she observes, affords its practitioners an immediate reward--the ability to observe the world at a relaxed gait, one that allows us to take in sights, sounds, and smells that we might otherwise pass by. It provides a vehicle for much-needed solitude and private thought. For the health-minded, walking affords a low-impact and usually pleasant way of shedding a few pounds and stretching a few muscles. It is an essential part of the human adventure--and one that has, until now, been too little documented.

Written in a time when landscapes and cities alike are designed to accommodate automobiles and not pedestrians, Solnit's extraordinary book is an enticement to lace up shoes and set out on an aimless, meditative stroll of one's own. --Gregory McNamee

About the Author :

Rebecca Solnit is the author of fourteen books, including A Paradise Built in Hell, A Field Guide to Getting Lost, River of Shadows, Wanderlust: A History of Walking. and As Eve Said to the Serpent: On Landscape, Gender, and Art, which was nominated for the National Book Critics Circle Award in Criticism. In 2003, she received the prestigious Lannan Literary Award. She lives in San Francisco.

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Solnit, Rebecca
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ISBN 10 : 0670882097 ISBN 13 : 9780670882090
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Description du livre Viking Adult, 2000. Hardcover. État : New. New Condition. Clean crisp tight copy, no marks or tears. Email Notification. Satisfaction Guaranteed. N° de réf. du libraire mcl1702199447

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