Map of Maps

🌱 2022-09-12

Virgina Woolf paints a strong image of why cities are wonderful places to be.

I always felt this when I was in NYC. Where I could find myself when walking right in the middle of the manic, swirling madness of people.

Woolf relished the creative energy of London’s streets, describing it in her diary as “being on the highest crest of the biggest wave, right in the centre & swim of things.”

As Mrs. Dalloway walks, she does not merely perceive the city around her. Rather, she dips in and out of her past, remolding London into a highly textured mental landscape, “making it up, building it round one, tumbling it, creating it every moment afresh.

I enjoyed Thoreau's essay on walking, where he asks us to walk like a camel, for "it is said to be the only beast which ruminates when walking."

Methinks that the moment my legs begin to move, my thoughts begin to flow. - Henry David Thoreau

“Walking organizes the world around us; writing organizes our thoughts. Ultimately, maps like the one that Nabokov drew are recursive: they are maps of maps.”

Vladimir Nabokov offered some advice for teaching James Joyce’s “Ulysses”: “Instead of perpetuating the pretentious nonsense of Homeric, chromatic, and visceral chapter headings, instructors should prepare maps of Dublin with Bloom’s and Stephen’s intertwining itineraries clearly traced.”



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