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Frank Molloy‘s Soul City Wandering was released in 2020. The aim of the book is to inspire travellers to engage as individuals with their journeys. It advocates personal interaction with time, place, motion & emotion, and in so doing, helps one to take back control of one’s environment. For city dwellers, the modern metropolis can be so complex, crowded and consuming, that it’s easy to feel disoriented, disenchanted and disconnected, especially with the recent restrictions of lockdown.
The model is London, and the book fuses history, music and poetry to invite readers to reinterpret the capital, its streets, its structures, and its soul. The main ‘pilgrimage’ is an easily-navigable route combining walking and public transport. It links 12 highly-evocative places and uses lyrical expression to amplify a sensory perception of the city.
This book is not about ‘hidden London’. Most of the location points are well-known. They have been selected because they have a strong ‘synergy’. That is, spaces where the interaction of multiple agents or events combine to produce an effect greater than the sum of their individual significance. As such, Soul City Wandering is a gateway into the world of ‘psychogeography’, a comparatively modern label for the act of experiencing one’s surroundings on a sensory level.
Two further models of this concept are included. Both are London-themed but a little more compact: Romancing the British Museum is an exploration of that institution’s influence on poetry, and as such is a series of encounters within an enclosed space.
Meanwhile, Ghosts of Swinging London is a jaunt around Soho, focusing on its impact on rock ‘n’ roll, and therefore, offers an experience that can more readily be enjoyed as part of a group. A Ghosts of Swinging London walk was conducted as part of Open House London.
Finally, hints and tips have been added to help readers create their own experiences.
Soul City Wandering is published by Choir Press priced at £9.99. It is also available to order from the following online bookstores:
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