Cornucopia of delights
Rebecca Solnit is a marvel. In this book about walking, what it means to walk, changing views about walking, different kinds of walking, she has created a beautiful weaving together of all sorts of topics, from evolutionary development – which came first, being bipedal, or cognition; the development of gardens, and what that said about European society; literature, the Enlightenment and the Romantic Movement; reading the landscape as an artwork; womens’ freedom to walk; the sexualising of walking – streetwalkers; the spirituality of walking – pilgrimages, labyrinths. And more. Much more.
I read this book with a permanent smile fixed on my face, in delight at the fascinating ideas she unfolds, whilst wearing her extensive research extremely lightly and gracefully.
Its a book you could either devour, cover to cover, or dip into, to explore aspects which particularly fascinate you.
Make sure you read it with a pen/highlighter in hand, as you may feel the need to mark and highlight lots. Her writing is erudite, beautiful and inspired.
Sorry if the idea of marking and highlighting, I FELT that sharp in-drawing of horrified breath! I know some people can’t bear to mark books, others like to mark their reading journey – am very much the latter, enjoying both my own and other people’s annotations, becoming like a dialogue with the author.