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Alphabe Thursday … V is for Paul Virilio and speed

April 16, 2015


As I come nearly to the end of my walking alphabet; I look at the way railway trains and particularly the way that speed took away pleasure of travel.  Even in the 19th century when trains were not yet high speed, travelers were saying that they seemed to  ‘transcend time and space and become disembodied.’ Writers were saying such things as ‘ the train was experienced as a projectile, travelling as if being shot through the landscape. Losing control of one’s senses; no longer a traveler, he became a parcel.’

Speed,  they suggested didn’t make travel more interesting ; people now have the need to read, sleep, to knit or complain of boredom.  The use of cars and planes has increased this transformation and we watch movies or listen to music on headphones to relieve the monotony.   Paul Virilio, the French cultural theorist and urbanist said that ‘the loss of the thrills of the old journey is now compensated by the showing of an [action] film on the screen over head’.

So true.

alphabet thursday


8 Comments leave one →
  1. April 16, 2015 3:40 pm

    I feel that way on a plane. Great post!

  2. April 16, 2015 7:02 pm

    That was enlightening, Nel. I really enjoyed yesterday afternoon. Mrs. Jim and I went to the P.O. in town and then had a late lunch at the Subway Sandwich restaurant across the lake. We ate our sandwich and talked and talked, for over an hour, I drank three (free refills) Diet Coke drinks in the process. They have a deck that goes out to the lake so we watched boats (there were most kinds, even a canoe) , herons looking for fish, people putting gas into their boats at the marina, fire trucks over on the highway, and a little green ghia (??) jumping from railing support, post to post. More, like people watching, but no one came to eat with us on the deck.

    I told Mrs. Jim that we hadn’t had that much nice chatting, alone together, since we were on our last out of town drive. Oh yes, there is a MacDonald’s across the channel, they have picnic benches by the lakeside. We have eaten there quite a bit. And we had the Mustang top down. Couldn’t get much better than that!!!

    • April 16, 2015 8:11 pm

      I know what you mean me and my other half are best together when we are on our travels to and from the coffee shop!! and during over a coffee or three!!

  3. April 17, 2015 3:44 am

    Nice share. You have given us so many wonderful shares that I am always excited to see what you have for the next time. Thank you and enjoy a great weekend.

    • April 17, 2015 6:25 am

      Thanks Anne … You have always been kind xx Have a good weekend …

  4. April 19, 2015 4:10 pm

    I used to love going places on a train. It was a time to read and relax obviously not in the rush hour or the London underground

  5. April 19, 2015 6:04 pm

    Yes! for a long leisurely journey the train is best

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