In Jennifer Egan’s The Keep, a former New York club promoter boasts a sixth sense for authority: “Danny could walk in a room and know who had power the way some people know from the feel of the air that it’s going to snow.”
VR offers experiences not readily available through physical reality, including the simulated experience of suffering. But its positive advocacy of new experiences makes it more adventure travel than understanding the lived reality of another person.
Quizzing the students in his European literature class at Cornell on their reading habits, the Russian-American novelist Vladimir Nabokov observed in 1948, “The students leaned heavily on emotional identiﬁcation, action, and the social-economic or historical angle. "
During my visit to a library café, there was a quake. A little black dog hopped up on the platform and began to visit every table. The night before I’d been sitting on the grass below, just hanging out.
It’s easiest to start from the impulse to problematize the position of the flâneur. The ugly word privilege hovers around it, and we turn to questions that we know the answer to, “Who, exactly, is allowed to wander, like so?”
That Diana and the Amazons speak ‘hundreds’ of languages is believable, given their situation and seeming enlightenment; that English becomes their go-to choice for daily chats off the Greek coast, less so.
On the ancient river, seagull rock crests out of the waters. An outcrop within its sight is thorned by a few young silhouettes, taking turns plunging into the river some feet below. Riverboats and water taxis, white river cruise-ships weave short and cyclical tours between the two shores.