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The Lost Art of Walking: The History, Science, and Literature of Pedestrianism

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The Lost Art of Walking: The History, Science, and Literature of Pedestrianism Cover

ISBN13: 9781594484032
ISBN10: 1594484031
Condition: Standard
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

A fascinating, definitive, and very personal rumination on the history, science, philosophy, art, and literature of walking, by a skilled cultural commentator.

Geoff Nicholson, author of Bleeding London and Sex Collectors, turns his eye to the intellectual and cultural history of that most common of activitiesawalking. This simple, omnipresent activity has inspired numerous subcultures, literary and artistic legacies, sporting events, personal memories, epic journeys, mystical revelations, and scandals.

Itas a rich tradition that embraces such novelists as Charles Dickens and Paul Auster, musicians like Robert Johnson and Bob Dylan, and moviemakers from Buster Keaton to Werner Herzog. But itas also a tradition that includes obsessives and eccentrics, such as the artist Mudman, who coats his body in mud and then walks the city streets; competitive pedestrians such as Captain Barclay, who walked one mile an hour for a thousand successive hours; and gang members who use the hidden language of the aCrip Walka to spell out messages in the dirt with their scuffing. How we walk, where we walk, why we walk announces who and what we are.

Geoff Nicholson is a master chronicler of the hidden subversive twists on a seemingly normal activity. He analyzes the hows, wheres, and whys of walking through the ages. He finds people who walk only at night, or naked, or for thousands of miles at a time, in costume, for causes, or for no reason whatsoever. Here, he brings curiosity and genuine insight to a subject that often walks right past us.

Synopsis:

The author of "Bleeding London" and "Sex Collectors" turns his eye to the intellectual and cultural history of that most common of activities--walking. This fascinating rumination by a skilled cultural commentator analyzes the hows, wheres, and whys of walking through the ages.

Synopsis:

A philosophical guidebook and collection of insights celebrating the joy of travel, chosen by eminent travel writer Paul Theroux

Synopsis:

“A book to be plundered and raided.” — New York Times Book Review

“A portal into a world of timeless travel literature curated by one of the greatest travel writers of our day.” — USA Today

Paul Theroux celebrates fifty years of wandering the globe in this collection of the best writing from the books that have shaped him as a reader and a traveler. Part philosophical guide, part miscellany, part reminiscence, The Tao of Travel contains excerpts from the best of Theroux’s own work interspersed with selections from travelers both familiar and unexpected:

Vladimir Nabokov         Eudora Welty

Evelyn Waugh          James Baldwin

Charles Dickens         Pico Iyer

Henry David Thoreau         Anton Chekhov

Mark Twain         John McPhee

Freya Stark         Ernest Hemingway

Graham Greene         and many others

“Dazzling . . . Like someone panning for gold, Theroux reread hundreds of travel classics and modern works, shaking out the nuggets.” — San Francisco Chronicle

Synopsis:

How we walk, where we walk, why we walk tells the world who and what we are. Whether it's once a day to the car, or for long weekend hikes, or as competition, or as art, walking is a profoundly universal aspect of what makes us humans, social creatures, and engaged with the world. Cultural commentator, Whitbread Prize winner, and author of Sex Collectors Geoff Nicholson offers his fascinating, definitive, and personal ruminations on the literature, science, philosophy, art, and history of walking.

Nicholson finds people who walk only at night, or naked, or in the shape of a cross or a circle, or for thousands of miles at a time, in costume, for causes, or for no reason whatsoever. He examines the history and traditions of walking and its role as inspiration to artists, musicians, and writers like Bob Dylan, Charles Dickens, and Buster Keaton. In The Lost Art of Walking, he brings curiosity, imagination, and genuine insight to a subject that often strides, shuffles, struts, or lopes right by us.

 

About the Author

Geoff Nicholson is the author of twenty books, including Sex Collectors, Hunters and Gatherers, The Food Chain, and Bleeding London, which was shortlisted for the Whitbread Prize. He divides his time between Los Angeles and London.

Table of Contents

Contents

Preface: The Importance of Elsewhere ix

1. Travel in Brief 1

2. The Navel of the World 23

3. The Pleasures of Railways 26

Travel Wisdom of Henry Fielding 39

4. Murphys Rules of Travel 41

5. Travelers on Their Own Books 47

6. How Long Did the Traveler Spend Traveling? 55

Travel Wisdom of Samuel Johnson 75

7. The Things That They Carried 78

8. Fears, Neuroses, and Other Conditions 85

9. Travelers Who Never Went Alone 93

Travel Wisdom of Sir Francis Galton 105

10. Travel as an Ordeal 108

11. English Travelers on Escaping England 117

12. When Youre Strange 121

Travel Wisdom of Robert Louis Stevenson 127

13. It Is Solved by Walking 130

14. Travel Feats 147

15. Staying Home 158

Travel Wisdom of Freya Stark 167

16. Imaginary Journeys 171

17. Everything Is Edible Somewhere 181

18. Rosenblums Rules of Reporting 198

Travel Wisdom of Claude Lévi-Strauss 201

19. Perverse Pleasures of the Inhospitable 203

20. Imaginary People 210

21. Writers and the Places They Never Visited 215

Travel Wisdom of Evelyn Waugh 231

22. Travelers Bliss 234

23. Classics of a Sense of Place 238

24. Evocative Name, Disappointing Place 256

Travel Wisdom of Paul Bowles 259

25. Dangerous, Happy, Alluring 262

26. Five Travel Epiphanies 271

27. The Essential Tao of Travel 275

Acknowledgments 277

Index of People and Places 279

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

412Scott, August 4, 2011 (view all comments by 412Scott)
I didn't realize how many fascinating people exist in the history of walking until I read this book. Nicholson's British sensibility and wit provide an excellent narrative guide as you learn about competitive pedestrians like the mid 19th century legend Captain Barclay or the speakers at a Psychogeography festival in Brooklyn. The vast subject matter, from music, movement and movies in one chapter to walking around Mecca in another, sometimes is too broad, but Nicholson's self-deprecating style and well as the very humorous frame for the book kept me laughing and guessing where he might meander to next. So, fittingly, if you can handle taking "the long way" through a topic you've doubtlessly mastered but not really thought about, you will truly enjoy this book.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No

Product Details

ISBN:
9781594484032
Author:
Nicholson, Geoff
Publisher:
Riverhead Books
Author:
Theroux, Paul
Subject:
Personal Memoirs
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Special Interest - Adventure
Subject:
General Social Science
Subject:
Biography - General
Subject:
General Travel
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Mass Market
Publication Date:
20091131
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
from 12
Language:
English
Pages:
304
Dimensions:
8 x 5.31 in 0.62 lb
Age Level:
17-17

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Related Subjects

Biography » General
Biography » Literary
Sports and Outdoors » Outdoors » Lore and Survival
Sports and Outdoors » Sports and Fitness » Exercise
Sports and Outdoors » Sports and Fitness » Walking
Travel » Travel Writing » General

The Lost Art of Walking: The History, Science, and Literature of Pedestrianism Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$3.95 In Stock
Product details 304 pages Riverhead Books - English 9781594484032 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , The author of "Bleeding London" and "Sex Collectors" turns his eye to the intellectual and cultural history of that most common of activities--walking. This fascinating rumination by a skilled cultural commentator analyzes the hows, wheres, and whys of walking through the ages.
"Synopsis" by ,
A philosophical guidebook and collection of insights celebrating the joy of travel, chosen by eminent travel writer Paul Theroux
"Synopsis" by ,
“A book to be plundered and raided.” — New York Times Book Review

“A portal into a world of timeless travel literature curated by one of the greatest travel writers of our day.” — USA Today

Paul Theroux celebrates fifty years of wandering the globe in this collection of the best writing from the books that have shaped him as a reader and a traveler. Part philosophical guide, part miscellany, part reminiscence, The Tao of Travel contains excerpts from the best of Theroux’s own work interspersed with selections from travelers both familiar and unexpected:

Vladimir Nabokov         Eudora Welty

Evelyn Waugh          James Baldwin

Charles Dickens         Pico Iyer

Henry David Thoreau         Anton Chekhov

Mark Twain         John McPhee

Freya Stark         Ernest Hemingway

Graham Greene         and many others

“Dazzling . . . Like someone panning for gold, Theroux reread hundreds of travel classics and modern works, shaking out the nuggets.” — San Francisco Chronicle

"Synopsis" by ,
How we walk, where we walk, why we walk tells the world who and what we are. Whether it's once a day to the car, or for long weekend hikes, or as competition, or as art, walking is a profoundly universal aspect of what makes us humans, social creatures, and engaged with the world. Cultural commentator, Whitbread Prize winner, and author of Sex Collectors Geoff Nicholson offers his fascinating, definitive, and personal ruminations on the literature, science, philosophy, art, and history of walking.

Nicholson finds people who walk only at night, or naked, or in the shape of a cross or a circle, or for thousands of miles at a time, in costume, for causes, or for no reason whatsoever. He examines the history and traditions of walking and its role as inspiration to artists, musicians, and writers like Bob Dylan, Charles Dickens, and Buster Keaton. In The Lost Art of Walking, he brings curiosity, imagination, and genuine insight to a subject that often strides, shuffles, struts, or lopes right by us.

 

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