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Abstract

What kind of experience of territory is produced by walking pilgrimages? Do they generate experiences of place or space as with the definitions provided by Yi-Fu Tuan in Space and Place: The Perspective of Experience? This paper addresses these questions by considering Tuan’s distinction between space and place and various attempts at deconstructing that binary opposition. It looks at three texts about walking that seem to turn space into place--Nan Shepherd’s The Living Mountain, Thelma Poirier’s Rock Creek, and Iain Sinclair’s London Orbital: A Walk Around the M25--before considering the author's own failure to turn space into place during an improvised walking pilgrimage in southwestern Saskatchewan, Canada. Finally, the paper considers a more recent pilgrimage by the author on the Whithorn Way in Scotland. He concludes that walking pilgrimage actually generates a phenomenal experience of more abstract qualities, ‘placeness’ and ‘spaceness,’ which are interrelated and interpenetrated, folded together (in a Deleuzian sense), a conclusion that leaves the author ready to re-evaluate his improvised pilgrimage in Saskatchewan as well as the literary accounts he discusses.

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
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