chapter  7
14 Pages

Vertical travel

WithCharles Forsdick

The term ‘vertical travel’, describing journeys in which a conventional horizontal axis is replaced with emphases on verticality, is often used in literary and cultural criticism. The distinctiveness of this mode of journeying, often suggesting the inexhaustibility of the everyday as a site of travel, has, however, rarely been explored. Drawing on a varied corpus, ranging across Georges Perec, Umberto Eco, Robert Macfarlane and Iain Sinclair, the chapter proposes a detailed analysis of what happens when travellers slow down and subject their surroundings to the microspection inherent in burrowing down deep into place. The chapter studies a variety of manifestations, including room travel and Urban Exploration, and foregrounds the literary techniques such as enumeration and listing with which vertical journeys are associated.