In Saint-Paul-de-Vence

Sackville, Amy. 2021. In Saint-Paul-de-Vence. In: Dawn Lyon, ed. Rhythmanalysis: Place, Mobility, Disruption and Performance. Bingley: Emerald Publishing Limited, pp. 139-152. ISBN 9781839099731 [Book Section]

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Abstract or Description

This personal essay aims to make use of rhythmanalysis as a creative-critical methodology, to give an account of a visit to the French Riviera town of Saint-Paul-de-Vence. In so doing, it attends to the spatial, experiential and sensory dimensions of tourism, of individual physicality, and of writing. The place of the rhythmanalyst as defined by Lefebvre is naturally aligned with that of the creative writer. The necessity of being at once immersed and at a remove, of attending to rhythms by 'getting outside them, but not completely', taking the position of 'the observer, simultaneously centre and periphery'; the 'abandonment to duration'; the transgression of limits (Lefebvre 2004): this might describe the space and time of writing. As such, the experience of the act of writing is brought to the fore and considered as a subject in its own right; rhythm is central to the composition and form. This essay takes its cue from 'Seen from the Window', but moves through different thresholds and allows that motion to shape the text; and from 'Attempt at the Rhythmanalysis of Mediterranean Cities', in its concern with the intersection of public and private in the urban environment, but with a greater attention to the inhabited, present body, and particularly the sense of smell (Lefebvre 2004). It seeks to work with and against Lefebvre's example by placing the feminine body at its centre, while recognising the particularity of that authorial body: a white woman and a tourist, at leisure (Lyon 2019, Reid-Musson 2018). As a work of creative writing, it privileges the subjective, narrative and impressionistic over the analytical and abstract.

Item Type:

Book Section


Creative-critical; rhythmanalysis

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

English and Comparative Literature


23 June 2020Accepted
26 November 2021Published

Item ID:


Date Deposited:

05 Jun 2024 13:54

Last Modified:

05 Jun 2024 13:54


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