August 25, 2003

London Walks

London Walks, vol. 2
Andrew White, ed.

This anthology of discursive walks -- essays wrapped around the premise that you're reading them as you follow an itinerary through a London neighborhood -- is an intriguing idea.

Finding myself at Goodge Street and finding my hotel unprepared, I spent a few hours with novelist Bonnie Greer following in the footsteps of Rimbaud. Though Rimbaud is not generally my cup of tea, I went lots of places I'd never been, some of them famous, some obscure, one of them recently disappeared beneath new construction. I saw places where Marx had been, and the Rossetti's, and Louis Armstrong (to whom "muggles" referred to marijuana), and a lot of other interesting people. Reading while walking around a strange city while people drive speedily on the wrong side of the street is strenuous but, in the end, good company has its rewards.