A History of Fascination

“When we look at a landscape, we do not see what is there, but largely what we think is there… We read landscapes, in other words, we interpret their forms in the light of our own experience and memory, and that of our share cultural memory.”

Robert Macfarlane, the author of my latest love, “Mountains of the Mind” traces a history of the imagination which scrutinizes the ways people have imagined going into the mountains, how they have felt about them and how they have perceived them. From being considered the habitat of the supernatural and the hostile how mountain-worship became the thing of 1900s. 

The fellow climbers would surely be able to associate themselves with these lines from the book:

“The mountains one gazes at, reads about, dreams of and desires are not the mountains one climbs.”

“…The same historically holds for mountains. For centuries they were regarded as useless obstructions – considerable protuberances. now they are numbered among the world’s most exquisite forms, and people are willing to die for love of them.” 

A complete review would follow after I have finished reading the book.

Book: Mountains of the Mind

Author: Robert Macfarlane

Publications: Granta Publications

Available at Landmark in Gurgaon. 

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2 thoughts on “A History of Fascination

  1. Hey, MoTM is very good indeed. Read it a few years ago, loved it. Interestingly enough, the GMH poem from which he gets the title of the book refers to mountains more in the “old way”, although he twists the quote to reflect the modern obsession.

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