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Is It Really Getting Lost If You're Constantly Doing It?

TyL's picture

 I was talking about that in class earlier, but I just wanted to expand on it. Solnit is constantly talking about getting lost in Field Guide, lionizing the art of losing, of getting lost, seeing it as "the only way to live." Well, there's something to be said for remaining in one place. IF you're constantly getting lost, after all, is it really getting lost anymore? No, because you've come to expect it. Getting lost, for Solnit, is all about finding something new, something real, something unpredictable and out of the norm--but if getting lost is your norm, and it's become predictable, then isn't getting lost just part of your routine? Yes, your routine is different than most people's, but it's still a routine. Maybe you'd be lost if you were standing still, and so you keep moving to avoid getting lost. 

I think the point she's trying to make here is that variation is healthy, but by constantly lionizing loss, she misses the point that sometimes remaining in one place, sticking to one thing (or person, or people), not burning your bridges, remaining with what you've built rather than giving it all up just so you can keep getting lost, isn't really getting lost anymore. It reminds me of what (and I am so sorry, but I forgot who brought this up) was said in class the other day, about the Nazi architect who designed the Olympic stadium for the 1939 Olympics to "make good ruins." Yeah, in five hundred years they'll be good ruins, but I know that if I were reincarnated into a kid dragged along into observing said ruins, I'd be highly disappointed to realize that they had been designed to be that way. The artifice of the ruins--the artifice of the getting lost--ruins it. It feels fake somehow, cheapened. And that begs the question: is it really getting lost anymore?


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