Landscape and Memory
|Author:||Simon Schama (Old Dominion Professor of Humanities, Columbia University, Canada)|
The forest primeval, the river of life, the sacred mount -- read Landscape and Memory to have these explained...'One of the most intelligent, original, stimulating, self-indulgent, perverse and irresistibly enjoyable books I have ever read. ' Philip ZieglerLandscape and Memory is a history book unlike any other. In a series of journeys through space and time, it examines our relationship with the landscape around us -- rivers, mountains, forests -- the impact each of them has had on our culture and imaginations, and the way in which we, in turn, have shaped them to answer our needs. This is not a conventional history book -- but a history book that builds up its argument by a series of poetic stories and impressions which cumulatively have the effect of a great novel. The forest primeval, the river of life, the sacred mount -- and the end of the wonderful book we understand where these ideas have come from, why they are so compelling and how they still lie all around us.
Winner of WH Smith Literary Prize 1996 and WH Smith Annual Literary Award 1996. Shortlisted for NCR Book Award 1996.
'This is a tour de force of vivid historical writing... It is astonishing learned, and yet offered with verve, humour and an unflagging sense of delight.' Michael Ignatieff, IOS'Simon Schama is a giant, a great thinking machine and a golden lyricist as well. He takes us beyond geololgy and vegetation into myth and memory, to unravel the ancient connections which bring mountain, forest and river into our soul.' Brian Masters, MoS'Schama long ago established himself as one of the most learned, original and provocative historians in the English speaking world... Unclassifiable, inimitable, fascinating, Landscape and Memory will inform and haunt, chasten and enrage. It is that rarest of commodities in our cultural marketplace -- a work of genuine originality.' Anthony Grafton, New Republic'Schama's inensely visual prose is the product of an historical imagination which is not restrained by conventional academic inhibitions. It is his ability and willingness to write this sort of narrative prose -- vivid, elaborate, unashamedly colourful -- that makes Simon Schama the obvious modern successor to Macaulay. He is a masterly narrator who spins and embroiders his yarns with unflagging zest. The book abounds in virtuoso passages, some of them reminiscent of Rabelais or Sterne.' Keith Thomas, NYRB
Simon Schama is a superstar.