Pilgrimages—real and imagined—are always popular, sometimes compulsory. Bodh Gaya, Santiago, Mecca, Jerusalem, and Puri are a few of the sites that beckon. The pilgrimage to the authentic self takes a similar path in an interior landscape. In the 15th century, Felix Fabri combined the two, using his visits to Jerusalem to write a handbook for nuns wanting to make a pilgrimage in the imagination, whilst confined to their religious houses. For Guidebook for an Armchair Pilgrimage, the authors followed Fabri’s example. First they walked together over many weeks, not to reach a destination but simply to find one. Then, in startling words and images, along lanes and around hills, into caves and down to the coast. Over the course of the 19-day Armchair Pilgrimage, they invite the reader to experience the world around them just as they did as they walked.
Published by Phil Smith
Phil Smith is an Associate Professor (Reader). He is an academic researcher, writer and artist specialising in walking, site-specific performance, dramaturgy and mythogeographies. He welcomes enquiries from postgraduate students interested in researching fields similar or adjacent to these areas; he is currently Director of Studies for Ivan Pope (post-psychogeographies of Auschwitz) and James Harper-Bailie (co-autoethnographies of class and performance in everyday life). With artist Helen Billinghurst he works as the 'Crab' half of Crab & Bee; after a project of walks, readings and exhibition, ‘Plymouth Labyrinth’, https://plymouthlabyrinth.wordpress.com/ they are presently researching ‘The Pattern', a publication for Triarchy Press (due 2020). View all posts by Phil Smith