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Landscape and Memory by Simon Schama

Landscape and Memory (original 1995; edition 1996)

by Simon Schama

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1,11977,372 (3.98)42
Title:Landscape and Memory
Authors:Simon Schama
Info:Fontana Press (1996), Paperback, 672 pages
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Landscape and Memory by Simon Schama (1995)


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Showing 1-5 of 7 (next | show all)
Got it. Finally. Took me one and a half years to read that fucker! Actually, I stopped after the most - and only - relevant part, the one about ROCK, leaving the summary part out.
Doesn't make for smooth bedside reading... My eyes would capitulate after a couple of pages.
It is highly interesting and Schama tries hard to make the reading entertaining, but it remains scientific and in parts highly speculative. His line of reasoning is not always easy to follow and I couldn't always detect a red line between the places that he presents and how they are perceived and how they mirror the society of a certain time.
Lastly, some contents have been put in quite arbitrarily - at least that's what it seems to me.
  Kindlegohome | Jul 9, 2015 |
I find this a hard book to finish. It is one of those books it seems difficult to get into although the material is interesting and the thought good. ( )
  JayLivernois | May 13, 2010 |
This book is a fascinating treatise on the role nature (specifically wood, water, and rock) has played in Western culture. Art and history professor at Columbia University, Schama considered this the one book he needed to write. He expertly touches on so many examples of our environment's influence on our collective memory that the book is difficult to describe- everything from Hitler's obsession with the forests of Europe and the battles fought to get Susan B. Anthony on Mount Rushmore, to Western lust for Egyptian obelisks and dance parties held on the massive stumps of California Sequoias in the mid-nineteenth century. This work is also, with its classical layout and type font and its many excellent illustrations, one of the most beautifully designed books I've ever seen. Highly recommended. ( )
6 vote ukforever | Mar 6, 2010 |
A rich and satisfying look into the European heritage. Beautifully written, lyrical prose that is a joy to read. ( )
  JudyL | Feb 28, 2010 |
fascinating but pretentious ( )
  experimentalis | Jan 1, 2008 |
Showing 1-5 of 7 (next | show all)
In various cultures, both classic and contemporary, the author studies myths and how they relate to landscapes. Repeatedly, the subject of an idyllic, pastoral place, an Arcadia, arises. In the last chapter, he focuses briefly on Central Park, praising its designer, Frederick Law Olmsted, for his vision of a heroic urban Arcadia. For Mr. Schama, Central Park seems to encapsulate the double-sided nature of the Arcadian concept. The dreamlike version is, he said, "a place of effortless bucolic sweetness, where you can lie on your back and smell the grass while there's a faint noise of people hitting balls with bats." The nightmare version is "a slightly scary, sinister, dense place of sex and death."
added by John_Vaughan | editNY Times, MEL GUSSOW (Jul 27, 1995)
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It is in vain to dream of a wildness distant from ourselves.  There is none such.  It is the bog in our brains and bowels, the primitive vigor of Nature in us, that inspires that dream.  I shall never find in the wilds of Labrador any greater wildness than in some recess of Concord, i.e., than I import into it.
Henry David Thoreau, Journal, August 30, 1856
For Chloë and Gabriel
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It was only when I got to secondary school that I realized that I wasn't supposed to like Rudyard Kipling.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0679735127, Paperback)

One of Time Magazine's Best Books of the Year

In Landscape and Memory Schama ranges over continents and centuries to reveal the psychic claims that human beings have made on nature. He tells of the Nazi cult of the primeval German forest; the play of Christian and pagan myth in Bernini's Fountain of the Four Rivers; and the duel between a monumental sculptor and a feminist gadfly on the slopes of Mount Rushmore. The result is a triumphant work of history, naturalism, mythology, and art.

"A work of great ambition and enormous intellectual scope...consistently provocative and revealing."--New York Times

"Extraordinary...a summary cannot convey the riches of this book. It will absorb, instruct, and fascinate."--New York Review of Books

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:21:27 -0400)

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