John Clare Day Rodborough Fort Monday July 13th 8pm

John Clare Book Cover

John Clare Day

With John Clare Day fast approaching, let’s remind ourselves of Matthew Beaumont’s A Nocturnal History of London NightWalking and its John Clare relevance.
Here’s a summary to re-whet the appetite:
You will know the difference between the bohemian NOCTAMBULANT
And the indigent NOCTIVAGANT as well as the meaning of CHRONOTOPE;
You will see that the poor of Merrie England could not afford torches or lanterns
To lighten their way;
You will think of bellmen, curfews and watchmen,
Of the Christian conjoining of darkness and the devil,
Of the class, gender and racially based criminalization of nightwalkers,
Of how the Reformation also criminalized poverty,
Of how Enclosure also created vagrancy and its consequent criminalization;
You will study the developing practice and theory of NIGHTWALKING,
You will read of counter- enlightenment literary peregrinations,
Of how ‘The act of walking for the Romantics, inscribed a coded rebellion against the
culture of agrarian and industrial capitalism onto both the material surfaces
of city and countryside – the streets, the roads, the footpaths – and their social relations.’
Of how John Clare ‘was a militant pedestrian … From his youth, he defied enclosure with his feet, asserting the politics of pedestrianism … In addition to his commitment to walking as a political act, Clare was … apart from Wordsworth … most attuned to the night’s subtle promise of a life that cannot be lived in the common day.’
 
Meet Rodborough Fort at 8pm on Monday July 13th for readings and a chat and then down 
The Prince Albert