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Een filosofie van de fiets (Dutch Edition)

af Hans Declercq

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313,361,924 (3)1
Nyligt tilføjet afthorold, Arenda17
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This book comes labelled as a novel, but it's a first-person account of a period the young Belgian narrator spends cycling, living and working in London, there are no real persistent characters other than the narrator, it doesn't have any obvious fictional attributes, and you could very easily mistake it for a travel book, a blog, or a memoir.

The narrator reflects on how choosing to get around a city by bike changes the way you look at things, asks himself to what extent being a cyclist makes him subversive (in the spirit of his favourite philosopher, Michel de Certeau), to what extent it makes him a fashion-victim millennial (something he goes on to demonstrate by buying a belt-drive Trek), or a holier-than-thou exercise fanatic, or a Menace to Pedestrians. He visits the Brompton factory (and is very impressed), he tries unsuccessfully to interview someone in the marketing department of the bank sponsoring the "Boris Bike", and he rides along on Critical Mass events. But mostly he just explores the city on his bike as the fancy takes him.

Out of the saddle, he goes to pubs and nightclubs, and looks at the odd, dislocated world of London as seen by its vast transient population of high-skilled migrant workers, and tries to work out something about the British character from the handful of indigenous people who cross his path from time to time. And he begins to spot Londoners when he's elsewhere in the world - as someone else tells him, they act like visitors to a zoo as soon as they get outside the M25.

Pleasant and entertaining in the sort of way a travel blog is, and it made me curious about Michel de Certeau, but nothing extraordinary. And of course almost everything he says about being a foreigner in London will have gone drastically out of date in the last couple of years. ( )
  thorold | Aug 27, 2019 |
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