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Arctic Dreams: Imagination and Desire in a Northern Landscape (1986)
by Barry Lopez
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0375727485, Paperback)Based on 15 extended trips to the Canadian far north over a five-year period, Arctic Dreams celebrates the mysteries of what documentarians fondly call "last frontiers." Such places are everywhere in danger of destruction in the interest of ever-elusive economic progress, but Lopez writes no jeremiads. Instead, he aims to foster a kind of learned understanding of wild places, in this case the vast, scarcely knowable northern landscape. Writing of the natural history of the Arctic and its inhabitants--narwhals, polar bears, beluga whales, musk oxen, and caribou among them--Lopez draws powerful lessons from the land and imparts them assuredly and gracefully. Arctic Dreams deservedly won a National Book Award in 1986 when it was first published.
(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:11:50 -0400)
This book is an account of the history, ecology, and mystique of the arctic region. The author offers a thorough examination of this obscure world, its terrain, its wildlife, its history of Eskimo natives and intrepid explorers who have arrived on their icy shores. But what turns this marvelous work of natural history into a breathtaking study of profound originality is his unique meditation on how the landscape can shape our imagination, desires, and dreams. Its prose as hauntingly pure as the land it describes, and is nothing less than an indelible classic of modern literature.
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