Monday, December 3, 2012

rebecca solnit, a field guide to getting lost

"edgar allen poe declared, 'all experience, in matters of philosophical discovery, teaches us that, in such discovery, it is the unforeseen upon which we must calculate most largely.' poe is consciously juxtaposing the word 'calculate,' which implies a cold counting up of the facts or measurements, with the 'unforeseen,' that which cannot be measured or counted, only anticipated. how do you calculate upon the unforeseen? ...keeping your balance amid surprises, of collaborating with chance..." (5)

walter benjamin: "'not to find one's way in a city may well be uninteresting and banal. it requires ignorance--nothing more,' ...'but to lose oneself in a city--as one loses oneself in a forest--that calls for quite a different schooling.'" (6)

virginia woolf's essay about walking:

'As we step out of the house on a fine evening between four and six, we shed the self our friends know us by and become part of that vast republican army of anonymous trampers, whose society is so agreeable after the solitude of one’s own room...
Into each of these lives one could penetrate a little way, far enough to give oneself the illusion that one is not tethered to a single mind, but can put on briefly for a few minutes the bodies and minds of others.' (16)

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