Self begins "Psychogeography" with a long "introduction" describing a walk he took from London to New York. That such a thing is impossible is part of the point entirely: The idea is to walk from his London home to Heathrow Airport before flying to JFK, where he will set out again, on foot, for Manhattan. Here, Self sets up the strategy of his book by giving a nod to Debord while at the same time mapping out his own psychogeographic territory.
His long walks neither emulate nor resemble the dérives of the Situationists, in part because he carries his usual purposes and motivations -- promoting a book, say, or attending a meeting. He has no intention to "outfox prescribed folkways," but he also delights in exploring true "Empty Quarters," those zones that lie outside urban boundaries and off the paved paths. For him, these are the true frontiers, the last places left to discover and explore. . . .
Monday, November 05, 2007
"Pyschogeography" by Will Self
from: Higgins, Karrie. "'Psychogeography' by Will Self: Disentangling the Modern Conundrum of Psyche and Place," Los Angeles Times, 4 November 2007.