A Walk in the Park
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Our second Walk in the Park features two writers, Damon Young and Ruth Quibell, who know walking – and each other – well. They’re married.
Young, a philosopher and writer of numerous books and genres, is the author of How to Think About Exercise, part of The School of Life’s series of books. In the book, he explores how closely bodies and minds relate to each other – and how crucial harmony between them is to our experience of humanity.
He’ll discuss these ideas on a walk with Quibell, a sociologist and writer who has described walking as her ‘more than a creative practice or physiological tuneup … walking has been my existential remedy’.
How will this event work?
Each attendee will have their own pair of wireless headphones (volume adjustable!). Speakers will lead the group at a slow walking pace around Princes Park, fitted with microphones. >Since this is a public park, we’ll be sharing the track with runners, dog walkers and other walkers. The headphones have a good range, so if you fall behind the group, fear not – you’ll still be able to hear the conversation up to ~150m away. Each event will run for 60 minutes, but depending on the group’s walking pace, may not complete a full circuit of Princes Park (which is 3.2km). We encourage participants to wear runners (and a raincoat if the weather is looking soggy), noting that some paths are sealed and some are sand.
Damon Young is a prize-winning philosopher and writer. He is the author of ten books in English and translation, including The Art of Reading, How to Think About Exercise, Philosophy in the Garden and Distraction. Young is also the author of several popular children’s books, including My Brother is a Beast and My Sister is a Superhero.
Ruth Quibell is a sociologist and writer. Her first book, The Promise of Things, was published in 2016. She was described as 'best new talent' in the Saturday Paper's Books of 2016. She has also written for Island, Womankind, Meanjin, the Age and Sydney Morning Herald.
History, and the history of great art and thinking, is rife with walkers. From flâneuring to Freud – from Wes Anderson to Marina Abramović – the simple act of putting one foot in front of the other has long been celebrated as a potent way to access the mind, the spirit, a sense of contemplation, or the most basic pleasures of being in the world.
So: how do writers and researchers use walking? How does it affect their ability to think methodically or creatively – and what can it offer to mental health?
For this unique one-day series, made up of three walks, you’re invited to eavesdrop on a roving conversation around Princes Park. On each hour-long amble, two writers will reflect on their unique relationships with walking. You’ll stroll behind them, listening in via wireless headphones. (Soggy day? Bring a raincoat!)