Milano master-class

13. Can Trails Be Walked Alone?

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To say that a landscape is narration, that it is an act of writing an urban narrative for others, is to suggest it is akin to what artists, writers, and geographers do (I work in a museum, so am naturally drawn to this kind of thinking).

What gives me pause when it comes to Metropolitan Trails is that you often recommend against solo walks. But for me, there are two possible readings: you can walk alone if you want to appropriate a given path and let your imagination wander, if you want a private experience. Or you can go on a guided tour, and it’s important in a museum to have both types of visits.

Metropolitan Trails is a bit ambiguous on this and in the exchanges we’ve had together; you don’t recommend walking alone, which I find surprising since, perhaps the story you want to tell me is enough, or perhaps I want to experience what you have imagined for me by myself, as I would when reading a book. What Victor Hugo wanted to write is not necessarily what I understand, but I also have an active responsibility as a reader; I am not necessarily passive. You have designed the paths, but I am not a passive walker.