Vince Imbat

Words written outdoors vs indoors

Dec 15, 2021

Thoreau has thoughts about this. He wanted A Week to have an element of being written outdoors (see Dassow Walls biography and quote it here or take from his journal). Also, he made it a point to balance reading and writing with walking.

Nietszche has ideas on the same topic:

We do not belong to those who have ideas only among books, when stimulated by books. It is our habit to think outdoors – walking, leaping, climbing, dancing, preferably on lonely mountains or near the sea where even the trails become thoughtful. Our first questions about the value of a book, of a human being, or a musical composition are: Can they walk? Even more, can they dance?

How quickly we guess how someone has come by his ideas; whether it was while sitting in front of his inkwell, with a pinched belly, his head bowed low over the paper – in which case we are quickly finished with his book, too! Cramped intestines betray themselves – you can bet on that – no less than closet air, closet ceilings, closet narrowness.

Books written indoors

Books written outdoors

To do

Tags: Fruitful

# References

Gros, F. (2014). A Philosophy of Walking. Verso.

Thoreau, Emerson recalls, had made it a principle to give no more time to writing than he had to walking. To avoid the pitfalls of culture and libraries; for otherwise, what one writes is filled with the writing of others.

Writing ought to be this: testimony to a wordless, living experience. Not the commentary on another book, not the exegesis of another text.

Thus does the book, born out of experience, refer to that experience. Books are not to teach us how to live (that is the sad task of lesson-givers), but to make us want to live, to live differently: to find in ourselves the possibility of life, its principle.