Walking and Writing (LIT2398.01)

Akiko Busch

The workshop will examine the literary traditions of walking and writing, focusing on how the first can assist the second. Themes will include walking as a passage; walking as escape; walking as a meditation; walking towards something; walking away from something; and those times when walking manages to be both of these things. Of his outings in Concord, Henry Thoreau said “Every walk is a sort of crusade.” And when, in “Street Haunting: A London Adventure,” Virginia Woolf steps out into the city streets simply to buy a pencil, the walk becomes a consideration of self and what it is to be a writer. Exercises will range from solitary walks to those taken with a companion; urban walks to rural hikes; walks in familiar places to those taken through new, unknown routes. We will workshop these essays, as well as consider the work of other walking writers, among them John Muir, Wendell Berry, Colin Thubron. We will review Max Beerbohm’s diatribe against walking as well as Nietzsche’s suggestion that “It is only the ideas gained from walking that have any worth.” While this might be going a bit far, the intent of the workshop is to recognize, celebrate, and otherwise give expression to those ideas that emerge from the exercise of walking.

Prerequisites: None.
Credits: 4
W 12:10pm - 2:00pm; F 12:10pm - 2:00pm
Maximum Enrollment: 20
Course Frequency:
This course is categorized as Four Credit, Literature, 2000, Akiko Busch, Tuesday and/or Friday Afternoons, Wednesday Afternoons, All courses, Environment.