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Wanderlust A History of Walking



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Penguin Books
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Drawing together many histories-of anatomical evolution and city design, of treadmills and labyrinths, of walking clubs and sexual mores-Rebecca Solnit creates a fascinating portrait of the range of possibilities presented by walking. Arguing that the history of walking includes walking for pleasure as well as for political, aesthetic, and social meaning, Solnit focuses on the walkers whose everyday and extreme acts have shaped our culture, from philosophers to poets to mountaineers. She profiles some of the most significant walkers in history and fiction-from Wordsworth to Gary Snyder, from Jane Austen's Elizabeth Bennet to Andre Breton's Nadja-finding a profound relationship between walking and thinking and walking and culture. Solnit argues for the necessity of preserving the time and space in which to walk in our ever more car-dependent and accelerated world.

Author Biography

Rebecca Solnit is the author of numerous books, including Hope in the Dark, River of Shadows: Eadweard Muybridge and the Technological Wild West, 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.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix
I. The Pace of Thoughts 1(78)
Tracing a Headland: An Introduction
The Mind at Three Miles an Hour
Rising and Falling: The Theorists of Bipedalism
The Uphill Road to Grace: Some Pilgrimages
Labyrinths and Cadillacs: Walking into the Realm of the Symbolic
II. From the Garden to the Wild 79(90)
The Path Out of the Garden
The Legs of William Wordsworth
A Thousand Miles of Conventional Sentiment: The Literature of Walking
Mount Obscurity and Mount Arrival
Of Walking Clubs and Land Wars
III. Lives of the Streets 169(78)
The Solitary Stroller and the City
Paris, or Botanizing on the Asphalt
Citizens of the Streets: Parties, Processions, and Revolutions
Walking After Midnight: Women, Sex, and Public Space
IV. Past the End of the Road 247(46)
Aerobic Sisyphus and the Suburbanized Psyche
The Shape of a Walk
Las Vegas, or the Longest Distance Between Two Points
Notes 293(26)
Index 319(6)
Sources for Foot Quotations 325

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