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This chapter construes the digression, an act of stepping aside or aslant, as the basic building block in a more capaciously imagined digressiveness, enacted as style, praxis, and ethos. Distinguished from distraction—an ostensibly pervasive state in and of contemporaneity over which far too much hand-wringing distracts thinkers (ironically) from more interesting questions about attention, concentration, and perception—digressiveness has value when explored and expressed as a cultivated art of strolling. More specifically, this form of digressiveness can stroll to, with, and through an encyclopedic impulse without succumbing to the totalizing aggrandizements or pretensions to mastery that corrupt more rigid brands of...

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