Re: Re: Pedestrain Shortcuts

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ctesiphon, are you thinking of the passage Georges Perec wrote on “The Town”? (it’s in a compilation I have called “Species of Spaces and Other Places” but it may appear in other anthologies.) I was just thinking of this too after phil’s comment about how a shortcut implies a familiarity with a place. Couldn’t help doing some digging and was able to pinpoint this passage (cannibalized here from Perec’s elegant text for sake of brevity) on getting to know a foreign town for the first time:

“Two days may be enough to start to get acclimatized. The day you find out that the statue of Ludwig Spankerfel di Nominatore (the celebrated brewer) is only three minutes from your hotel (at the end of Prince Adalbert Street) whereas you’ve been taking a good half hour to get there, you start to take possession of the town. That doesn’t mean you start to inhabit it.”

Perec has some beautiful writing on the philosophy of place, space, cities, buildings, that is truly enjoyable to read. It gets you looking at your own familiar surroundings with unfamiliar eyes.

Perec also suggests the exercise of taking a route through Paris using only streets that begin with the letter “C.” That might qualify as a longcut, however…

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