6 Books About Walking

Fancy a stroll? Mark Cousins has 6 books to get you on the move

I’m reading Robert MacFarlane’s vivid, poetic The Old Ways, about his rambles along ancient paths, which made me think of Rebecca Solnit’s polyphonic history of the culture of walking, Wanderlust, a book that stokes your wander lust. This led me to Virginia Woolf’s great essay on open-ended walking, Street Haunting: A London Adventure, which, as I read it, brought to mind Jean Jacques Rousseau’s Reveries of a Solitary Walker, which I loved and tried to read in French. There’s something of Cervantes’ Don Quixote (still my favourite novel) in Rousseau’s book and it’s hard not to think of Cervantes whilst reading Alan Warner’s potent, picaresque The Man Who Walks.  Six rambling books which, in their passing glories and anti-structure, capture the unravelling of self that is life (well, mine, at least).

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Mark Cousins
Mark Cousins

Mark Cousins is a director, writer, filmmaker and occasional presenter and film critic. He interviewed famous filmmakers such as David Lynch, Martin Scorsese and Roman Polanski in the TV series Scene by Scene and collaborated with actress/director Tilda Swinton on a travelling independent film festival featured in the documentary Cinema is Everywhere. His 2011 film, The Story of Film: An Odyssey, was broadcast on More4 and featured at the 2011 Toronto International Film Festival.

Tags: travel