A common man marvels at uncommon things. A wise man marvels at the commonplace. CONFUCIUS

Friday, 3 August 2007

The Wild Places

Talking of all things wild and wonderful, I'm eagerly anticipating what will be the publishing event of the year - the new book by Robert Macfarlane: The Wild Places: A Wonder-Voyage, due out in September from Granta. (His first book, the uncategorizable and quite brilliant Mountains of the Mind: A History of a Fascination was published to great acclaim in 2003 and won the Guardian First Book Award.) In this, his second book, Macfarlane seeks out the last remaining wilderness places of the British Isles, including the Lleyn Peninsula, the Isle of Skye, Connemara, Rannoch Moor, the Cumbrian fells, and, surprisingly, even the Essex salt marshes and the ancient hollow ways of Dorset. He wanted to see with new eyes his local landscapes or, as he puts it, the undiscovered country of the nearby, and found that Britain was an archipelago in its own right. His prose, as always, will be poetic, lyrical, exquisite, dense and rich. The type of book is a hybrid one - a blend of history, natural history, topography, biography, autobiography; the personal, the literary, the factual, the mythological: a genre-busting mix of experience and imagination. I expect it will annoy all hardcore mountain men and serious power-trekkers. I just can't wait to read it.

1 comment:

John Hee said...

thanks for the tip off - looks interesting