The post brings two new books on walking, from the UK. On the cover, photographs of lush vegetation bring back pleasant memories from rural and urban walks across green-grassed, greyed-sky Britain.
The first book On Walking, opens with a long subtitle. The author – artist, writer, playwright, performer, academic, counter-tourist – owns up to “stalking Sebald” and defines the book as a guide to “going beyond, wandering around and looking at stuff”. The book certainly does all that. It is an honest and emotional account of Phil Smith´s passion for walking as a priviledged way of being in the world, being OF the world. You will find tips for walking, treasured memories, descriptions of places, poems, notes on the work of other walkers, clear renderings of theoretical concepts related to the practice of walking and prompts for creative walking and looking. The book is fully illustrated with coulour photographs, and like any good walk companion, doesn´t need to be read at one lenght or in any particular order. You may bring the book on a walk, and choose a chapter at random during a rest. Serendipity is always dear to books and walking.
The second book is titled Enchanted Things, signposts to a new nomadism: a compact photo-essay. The photographs take us on walking journey, focusing on sights, signs, ruins, debri, the kind of out-of-the-corner-of-the-eye details that walkers cherish. We do not know if the photos belong to one walk, or many, to one landscape or many. Sometimes we identify a landmark, most times we just recognise the kind of unimportant beauty of the found object or occassional sight. The prose that runs alongside the photographs do not describe or reference directly the images, but drifts in and out an inner journey through the author´s thoughts, occassionally cutting across the journey of the photographs, as two absorbed walkers that cross paths and momentarily acknowledge each other.
Both books are released on a Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported Licence, and can be purchased from Triarchy Press website, in print and as ebooks.