Reveries of the Solitary Walker

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One of the books on my Christmas wishlist was Rousseau’s Reveries of the Solitary Walker, which I originally blogged about way back in 2006. I’ve been interested for a long time in the creative energy that walking can bring about and I loved the title of this book, so I was keen to read it.

It was a bit disappointing in parts; Rousseau sounds fairly bitter and twisted by the time he writes this, and too much of the time the walks are really just the stages for philosophical meditations (I want more on the walk itself) And it was funny at times too; Rousseau’s accident when he’s run over by a dog is great.

I judged that my only hope of avoiding being knocked down was to leap into the air at precisely the right moment to allow the dog to pass underneath me. .

There are some great moments as well. His time on the island where he walks or floats in a dinghy around the Swiss lake for hours, are wonderful. And the structure, around a series of walks, is something you could build a series of poems around.

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