A Philosophy of Walking – Frédéric Gros, John Howe (Translation), Clifford Harper (Illustrations)


‘A Philosophy of Walking” by Frederic Gros is spiritually uplifting, stirringly beautiful and conscience triggering. The mundane and ‘taken-for-granted’ act of walking is raised to an elevated, pristine and beautiful pedestal. Not for once does the book mull about the health benefits of walking. It just enmeshes walking with thinking and thinking with walking. It tries to birth in the reader that precious triangular connect between the act of walking, the process of thinking and the consequent realization of the soul.

The language used is simple (though it is a translation from the original). The author of the book spectacularly blends his own musings concerning walking with the experiences of some of the most incorrigibly inveterate walkers such as Immanuel Kant, Jean Jacques Rousseau, Wilhelm Frederick Nietzsche, Robert Louis Stevenson, Jack Kerouac and Arthur Rimbaud.It seems that the indefatigable Nietzsche used to walk for as long as 8 hours a day!

Consider this striking excerpt from the book:

“By walking, you escape from the very idea of identity, the temptation to be someone, to have a name and a history … The freedom in walking lies in not being anyone; for the walking body has no history, it is just an eddy in the stream of immemorial life.”

This is certainly one book which will ensure that the moment the covers between the pages are closed, an avalanche of thoughts will come cascading through – the feet!!! I would unhesitatingly recommend this work to any and every book lover, for it will undoubtedly be a formidable addition to her existing collection!

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