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the body and walking

From Rebecca Solnit’s Wanderlust: A History of Walking” (p.27)

The phenomenologist Edmund Husserl described walking as the experience by which we understand our body in relationship to the world, in this 1931 essay, The World of the Living Present and the Constitution of the Surrounding World External to the Organism.’ The body, he said, is our experience of what is always here, and the body in motion experiences the unity of all its parts as the continuous here’ that moves toward and through the various theres.’ That is to say, it is the body that moves but the world that changes, which is how one distinguishes the one from the other: travel can be a way to experience this continuity of self amid the flux of the world and thus to begin to understand each and their relationship to each other. Husserl’s proposal differs from earlier speculations on how a person experiences the world in its emphasis on the act of walking rather than on the senses and the mind.

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