Monday, September 14, 2009

Landscape and Memory

Landscape and Memory is a book by Simon Schama that I read several year ago. I highly recommend this book, although it is certainly not “beach reading”. It is highly detailed and exhaustively researched, but absolutely worth the effort. It is also richly illustrated with paintings like this one by Caspar David Friedrich:

friedrich025 The “Chasseur” in the Forest, 1813

The book explains how natural landscapes have shaped cultures, sometimes in ways that I had never considered before. The celebration of these landscapes in the art of a culture is in a way the celebration of the culture itself. I think it could be argued that the culture passes along a love of these landscapes to successive generations without any overt attempt at it; even people who are several generations removed from the landscape can have a powerful attachment. Perhaps it’s a subconscious patterning, or maybe Jung’s Collective Unconscious at work. At any rate, the book is worthwhile for the illustrations alone!

I also will mention here that there is likely to be a hiatus of about a week and a half on this blog because I will be out of town and will have no internet access most of the time. I don’t want you guys to think I forgot you :) So until then……

1 comment:

  1. Have a great time away. We will miss you, but hope you come back refreshed and rejuvenated! XXX

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