A Philosophy of Walking by Frederic Gros, Clifford Harper, John Howe

By Frederic Gros, Clifford Harper, John Howe

"It is just rules won from jogging that have any worth."—Nietzsche

In A Philosophy of strolling, a bestseller in France, prime philosopher Frédéric Gros charts the numerous assorted ways we get from A to B — the pilgrimage, the prom, the protest march, the nature ramble — and divulges what they say approximately us.

Gros attracts awareness to other thinkers who additionally observed strolling as something principal to their practice. On his travels he ponders Thoreau’s eager seclusion in Walden Woods; the reason Rimbaud walked in a fury, whereas Nerval rambled to medication his depression. He shows us how Rousseau walked in order to imagine, whereas Nietzsche wandered the mountainside to write down. In contrast, Kant marched via his hometown every day, precisely on the similar hour, to escape the compulsion of thought. Brilliant and erudite, A Philosophy of Walking is an enjoyable and insightful manifesto for placing one foot in entrance of the opposite.

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Sample text

He took the train as far as Fumay, then continued on foot, from village to village (Vireux, Givet) along the Meuse. To Charleroi. ‘Eight days earlier, I had ripped my ankle-boots on the stones of the roads. ’ There he offered his services to the Journal de Charleroi, which turned him down. Rimbaud went on to Brussels, penniless, still on foot, to find, or so he hoped, his protector Izambard. ‘I set off, my fists in my torn pockets; my overcoat too was becoming ideal; I was going under the sky, Muse!

Money invades it to empty souls, medical science to construct artificial bodies. Walking is not a sport. Putting one foot in front of the other is child’s play. When walkers meet, there is no result, no time: the walker may say which way he has come, mention the best path for viewing the landscape, what can be seen from this or that promontory. Efforts have nevertheless been made to create a new market in accessories: revolutionary shoes, incredible socks, high-performance trousers … the sporting spirit is being surreptitiously introduced, you no longer walk but do a ‘trek’.

But it wasn’t easy: he would take against passers-by in the street, utter meaningless bellows. She soon shortened their outings, because she was ashamed, ashamed of her big forty-four-year-old son who roared like a bear, or cursed into the wind. Sometimes she would take him out in the late afternoon, when people were indoors and he could yell without upsetting anyone. Soon, however, the body itself became obstructive: paralysis crept gradually through his spine. He was back in a wheelchair in which people pushed him around, took him out.

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