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The Wild Places (2007)

– tekijä: Robert Macfarlane

Muut tekijät: Katso muut tekijät -osio.

Sarjat: Landscapes (2)

JäseniäKirja-arvostelujaSuosituimmuussijaKeskimääräinen arvioMaininnat
7462222,232 (3.98)40
Macfarlane embarks on a series of journeys in search of the wildness that remains in the British Isles. At once a wonder voyage, an adventure story and a work of natural history, this text also tells a story of friendship and loss, mixing history, memory and landscape in a strange evocation of wildness and its importance.… (lisätietoja)
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englanti (20)  hollanti (2)  Kaikki kielet (22)
Näyttää 1-5 (yhteensä 22) (seuraava | näytä kaikki)
Really enjoyable & well-written account of how the wild is all around us http://www.susanhatedliterature.net/2018/04/the-wild-places/ ( )
  Fence | Jan 5, 2021 |
The Wild Places by Robert Macfarlane Ostensibly about his endeavour to find the wild places that still exist in the UK staring from Scotland and kind of working his way down to end up in Essex where I think the BBC made a TV program about him wandering through Essex discovering wonders of wildlife hidden in plain sight throughout the industrial wastelands.
 
Anyway, he is in Essex on the trail of J.A. Baker who wrote The Peregrine, one of my all time favourite non-fiction books. It is interesting to note that like J.A. Baker he seems to exist in world devoid of all the trivialities that consume ours.
 
He did mention working (just once) and having a daughter (about 3 times) but outside of that he seems to exist only on this metaphysical journey where he is ping-ponging around the UK, hooking up with other men and disappearing into crags, gullies, downs, moors, mountains, islands, lochs and god know where else for periods of time.
 
He certainly never seemed to have to be anywhere else. That's why I found the irony of him doing a TV program kinda surreal because he appears to live in a world that doesn't have one. I don't have a TV but I certainly live in this world. Was I jealous I wondered?
 
Definitely impressed, to say the least.Also based on the premise that "to wander is to wonder" and the link between roving and reflection being described in many books each of which he quotes. A landscape walked and history filled in as you go.
 
Much off it sad, especially when he deals with (just one part) of the highland clearances. Do they teach that stuff in schools? I loved and struggled with this book at the same time. This is the second of his books that I have read and I warmed to him on this one. At the end of every chapter I wanted to get in my car and drive to these places and I would have, had it not been for the 19,000 Kms between him and me and the fact that I have a job to go to, but all the same.....Another of his themes was about how close all this is to what we call reality and what he calls roads and housing estates. How all this stuff is simply still there if you are willing to get out of the car and walk for a bit. Incredibly true it appears.This is one book that I wished was on my Kindle instead of the mass of paper that it was.
 
Why so? Well there were so many words that I didn't recognise and on the Kindle you simply point to the word and the definition pops up at the top or bottom of the screen.
 
Not just old fashioned arcane words but beautiful poetic descriptive words. Lots of them. I used the Kindle's dictionary instead realising that it has been a while since I came across so many hitherto unknown words.
 
He may have been writing about Essex but he certainly never went to school there, that's for sure. ( )
  Ken-Me-Old-Mate | Sep 24, 2020 |
In The Wild Places, Robert MacFarlane sets out to find if there are any such environments left within the British Isles. The book begins contemplatively, with the author journeying to one of his favourite local places, a beech wood outside the city of Cambridge where he lives, climbing a tree as is his wont, so he can sit and observe, and be part of, this sylvan idyll.



This sets the tone wonderfully. From the very first sentence, you realise that you are in for a special experience; the quality of MacFarlane’s prose is quietly spectacular, largely understated but with the rhythms of good poetry and this, combined with his eye for detail and a mind that connects the landscape and the animals and our inhabitation along with more personal experiences, make the book extraordinary.



Over fifteen chapters MacFarlane travels across Britain, and to Ireland, to experience the places he considers most “wild” and natural, initially using as a guide the travels of the legendary Irish King Sweeney, who was made to wander the wild places as a beast following an act of betrayal.



From the island of Ynys Enlii, off the Lleyn Peninsula, where Wales reaches it most Western point toward Ireland, on to Scotland - to Coriusk on Skye, Rannoch Moor, Coille Dubh ( The Black Wood ), Strathnaver and Ben Klibreck, Cape Wrath and Ben Hope before crossing the Irish Sea to the desolation of the Burren. MacFarlane finds even more poetry in these places than their evocative names suggest - along with the rest of his journey, to the high ridges of the Lakeland fells, the Kentish Holloways, the storm-lashed beaches of Norfolk, Essex saltmarshes and, finally, my own back yard, the moors above Hope Valley in the High Peak. His writing conjures the landscape like nobody I’ve read, the individual feel and sense and rhythm of each place, drawing the reader to it - even when, as in attempting to spend the night on the frozen Ben Hope in Northern Scotland, for the first time he feels how truly hostile a place can be and is genuinely afraid.



Each section of travelogue is also woven through with skeins of history - both of the regions, and more personal history. This becomes more pointed when MacFarlane’s friend Roger, with whom he has discussed many of his trips, have shared ideas and thoughts like the oldest of friends, who has accompanied him on several excursions, falls suddenly ill.



The final trip to the Peak District brings the book full circle, as he is shown where to find snow hares by John, who had piloted the boat out to Ynys Enlii, and then a final coda where MacFarlane returns once more to the beech wood. He may have found that there is, perhaps, no true wilderness in the British Isles, in that there is no land that has not been shaped by humanity and our works, but that the wild is still there to be appreciated and respected, should we wish to look for it, that we need to protect it for our own health and benefit, but it the wild places will be there long after we have gone.




5/5, and an instant addition to the Favourites shelf
( )
  Pezski | Jun 21, 2020 |
I enjoyed The Wild Places. It occasionally dragged and at other times I thought he was daft for sleeping out in the cold at places like Ben Hope in Scotland. However, on balance, The Wild Places is a deep and moving account of the UK's and Ireland's wilderness. Macfarlane's prose is often lovely. It is a shame there were so few photographs in the book and I hope at future edition will include more photographs.

I read this as prep for a trip to England and Wales because it was on Road Scholar's recommended reading lists. I found this to be one of the better books and I'm glad they list it. I hope to be able to see some of the marvelous landscapes Macfarlane describes, especially a holloway. ( )
  KateSavage | Mar 29, 2019 |
I read this relatively soon after reading Landmarks (which I enjoyed). I find that this earlier book largely overlaps that content. It is similarly arranged by natural feature and even some of the people are the same. Though the theme of this book is in general "wildness" rather than "place and memory" I didn't get out of it what I was looking for. ( )
  aprille | Mar 3, 2017 |
Näyttää 1-5 (yhteensä 22) (seuraava | näytä kaikki)
It is in the end a deeply stirring book, in being able to find the vivid wild in places that are so trammelled with our sterile banks of knowledge about them. In using the body to step beyond the ironic into an immediacy of a tangible, audible, testable world. In reversing what Macfarlane calls "the retreat from the real". Wildness becomes not some fragmentary thing surviving in scraps and fragments which have to be fenced around with a busy protectiveness. It is much much more than that.
 
Macfarlane also feels on the outside of things. This is partly because wildness in early 21st-century Britain is a hard thing to find - pushed to the margins (or so he begins by thinking), where it has not been entirely vanquished by pollution and modern farming and population growth. Then there are the difficulties created by the shortcomings of language to express what he feels, and the problems of containing a proper emotional response to a landscape within a more analytic appreciation of its qualities. "I could not explain what it really looked like," he says early in the book, when visiting an island cave, "certainly not what I was doing there, among the red and purple basalts." Later, the same note returns: "Open spaces bring to the mind something which is difficult to express"; "we find it hard to make language grip landscapes that are close-toned".
 

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I only went out for a walk, and finally concluded to stay out till sundown, for going out, I found, was really going in. —JOHN MUIR
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For my parents and in memory of Roger Deakin (1943- 2006)

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oak trees; how when one of their number was under stress they would share nutrients via their root systems.
Autumn leaf colour is an expression of a death which is also a renewal. Through spring and summer, green chlorophyll is the dominant leaf pigment. But as day-length decreases and temperatures fall, chlorophyll production is reduced, eventually to the point of extinction. As the chlorophyll content declines, other pigments begin to shine through: carotenoids - sunlight-capturing chemicals that flame orange, yellow and gold - brown tannins and the rarer redder anthocyanins. The anthocyanins are produced by the action of sustained strong light upon the sugars which get trapped in leaves as the tree’s vascular system prepares for leaf-drop.
Ishmael had said in Moby-Dick about the island of Kokovoko: ‘It is not down in any map; true places never are.’
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Macfarlane embarks on a series of journeys in search of the wildness that remains in the British Isles. At once a wonder voyage, an adventure story and a work of natural history, this text also tells a story of friendship and loss, mixing history, memory and landscape in a strange evocation of wildness and its importance.

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