While psychogeography cannot be described as a ‘science’, this relatively new field of literary exploration does involve considerable study of the human psyche as it relates to physical surroundings and the different environments that exist in different places. It’s about as far as you can get from an ‘exact science’ and that makes it even more interesting for most people.
To follow up and expand on his previous Psychogeology, Will Self teamed up with illustrator Ralph Steadman again, and together they have produced another winner with Psycho Too. The theme of walking as a means of connecting, focusing and integrating with different people, places and things is the source of the book’s introductory essay, a new one called ‘Journey Through Britain’. This time instead of ‘walking’ from central London to central Manhattan, Self and Steadman took a rather metaphorical but also literal walk from the home of the late J.G. Ballard to ‘The World’.
The full title of this book is Psychogeography: Disentangling the Modern Conundrum of Psyche and Place, which should give you a clue as to content, but if this is your first encounter with the concept, perhaps a bit of explanation is in order. Psychogeography can be loosely described as the study of how geography, or a particular place on Earth, affects the behaviour and emotional climate of the humans who live there.
For anyone who still thinks getting lost is by definition a bad idea, this book will probably turn you around about 180 degrees. Getting lost, says the author, is how you find the things you didn’t even know you were looking for but really needed to find.