Solnit, Rebecca “Wanderlust” (Penguin 2000)

Part of what makes roads, trails, and paths so unique as built structures is that they cannot be perceived as a whole all at once by a sedentary onlooker. They unfold in time as one travels along them, just as a story does as one listens or reads, and hairpin turn is like a plot twist, a steep ascent a building of suspense to view the summit, a fork in the road and an introduction of a new storyline, arrival the end of the story. Just as writing allows one to read the words of someone who is absent, so roads make it possible to trace the route of the absent. Roads are a record of those who have gone before, and to follow them is to follow people who are no longer there-not saints and gods anymore, but shepherds, hunters, engineers, emigrants, peasants to market or just commuters. Symbolic structures such as labyrinths call attention to the nature of all paths, all journeys.

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