I’ve never done anything but dream. This, and this alone, has been the meaning of my life. My only real concern has been my inner life. FERNANDO PESSOA

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Viewpoint

Sign on the French GR 65.

What's going on here, then? Has a zealous and literal-minded bureaucrat been working overtime in the French Footpaths Department? Or could this be an artwork by David Shrigley? Or perhaps it's an unconscious piece of postmodernism influenced by semiotic theory? Or is it just a statement of the bleedin' obvious? I suppose in the end it all depends on your point of view . . .

(Click here for the daily Turnstone quote.)

11 comments:

The Weaver of Grass said...

If we take it literally I must say that I have seen much better views on your blog Robert - the view in the distance looks a bit boring compared with some of your photographs.

The Solitary Walker said...

Thanks, Pat, for your comment — in reality the view beyond the sign was a spectacular view over the valley of the river Lot. It just doesn't show up on the pic, concentrating as it does on the obvious sign and the fence!

Goat said...

PLEASE REFRAIN FROM ADMIRING THE VIEW FROM UNSANCTIONED VIEWPOINTS. This reminds me of a sign on a cliff near Haeundae Beach over here that informs us that we have found an IDEAL PHOTO OPPORTUNITY POINT (or similar). It always rankles me that all the tourists dutifully pause to raise their cameras. I always shuffle a few metres to the right to signal my refusal to conform.

Oh, that reminds me of a sign aimed at tour buses on the rim of the Grand Canyon many years back. It said something like "YOU CANNOT SEE INTO THE CANYON FROM THIS POINT. TO VIEW THE CANYON, PASSENGERS MUST EXIT THE BUS."

For many, it was just too much effort.

Dominic Rivron said...

Are French verges always left to run wild? Looking at the background to that photo perhaps someone ought to go out and coup de grace.

Goat said...

Oh, and by the way, loving the Belloc book - though I really miss the pictures & maps that are replaced on my free Kindle edition with a JPG number! I have added a favourite of his many mad, manic quotes to my sidebar.

Margaret said...

On the Pembrokeshire coastal path there is an official sign that helpfully points in both directions. Someone rather more helpfully has annotated the pointers, one with 'Scary' and the other with 'Very Scary' so as to help the walker decide which way to go!

The Solitary Walker said...

Goat, you really made me smile :-) Dying for your promised post on signs and markers.

Dominic :-)

Goat again — that book's full of craziness, isn't it? He's such a lovable curmudgeon. Love the quote you chose for your sidebar.

margaret :-)

Ruth said...

Lao Tzu said “A good traveler has no fixed plans and is not intent on arriving.” Your commentary in the post and that of your visitors is just perfect. Perhaps the "intention" of the sign is to cause the good traveler to pause and reflect, on the scene, or on such questions of life.

The Solitary Walker said...

Yes, that interpretation wins hands down, Ruth! I like it.

Ruth said...

Robert, I thought of you when I read this at the NYTimes' The Stone, about travel and meaning. Reclaiming Travel

The Solitary Walker said...

Ah, we wanderers!

The quest in literature. What a subject.

Think I'd rather have the Death March over the cruise ship.

Thanks, Ruth, for this link!