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As Eve Said to the Serpent: On Landscape, Gender, and Art Paperback


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: University of Georgia Press (March 17, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0820324930
  • ISBN-13: 978-0820324937
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 8 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #434,606 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Invoking Hannah Arendt's observation, "Metaphors are the means by which the oneness of the world is poetically brought about," Solnit launches into a m‚lange of cultural and political criticism in these 19 essays (many previously published). But Solnit doesn't tarry long on easy targets, diving instead into political thickets, guided by the preoccupation with environmentalism and social justice that has informed her previous books (the highly praised Wanderlust: A History of Walking and The Hollow City were both published within the last year). Here, she addresses subjects like the myth of Eden; the politics and aesthetics of nature photography and calendars; interconnections between the WWII-era nuclear physicists' frequent walks and the hydrogen bomb; the metaphoric significance of natural history museums; and the meaning, for women, of the "deadly" Medusa myth. While her frame of reference encompasses political, academic and historical territories, Solnit's foremost theme prevails: the tensions between human quests for "civilization" and for nourishment in nature. Neatly balancing reportage, critical opinion and literary metaphor, Solnit standing clear-eyed on the shoulders of Walter Benjamin, Kristeva, Rachel Carson and many others attempts a bold, critical synthesis that, if occasionally unequal to its lofty goals, always provokes and challenges. Solnit's important contribution to contemporary feminist and environmental literature, as well as social and art criticism, is equally crucial for ushering "real-world" environmental politics fully and thoughtfully into the ivory tower. Photos.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

In this diverse and intelligent collection, Solnit (Wanderlust) gathers 18 examples of her ongoing investigation of art, landscape, feminism, and the importance of how we relate to the places in which we live. Her counterintuitive attitude is always in the foreground. Here, it frames the thinking behind this book: "I always thought Eve and the serpent must have conversed at greater length than Genesis records," she writes. And that imagined conversation, of which Eve was an active part, is Solnit's inspiration for looking at the world with an eye toward complexity. Thus, she interweaves ideas about physics, walking, the difference between nature photography and landscape photography, and much more with discussion of a number of artists (Richard Misrach, Robert Dawson, and Petah Coyne, to name only a few) to make a challenging but rewarding whole. Though most of these pieces have been published before, their appearances were scattered in magazines and in art books; to have them together offers an excellent vantage point from which to examine and enjoy the thinking of this maverick. Recommended for all art collections. Rebecca Miller, "Library Journal"
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

San Francisco writer, historian, and activist Rebecca Solnit is the author of thirteen books about art, landscape, community, ecology, politics, hope, and memory. A product of the California public education system from kindergarten to graduate school, she has worked with Native American land rights, antinuclear, human rights, antiwar and other issues as an activist and journalist.

Her new book is a departure from the previous 12 solo projects, a tall book of 22 colorful maps and 19 essays titled Infinite City: A San Francisco Atlas, made with 27 artists, writers, and cartographers.

She shops regularly at Amazon for books she can't get at her local independent bookstores, but she loves the local independents, frequents them constantly, particularly the Green Arcade and City Lights. She is very grateful to her readers, for writers are nothing without readers and books are dormant treasures that come alive when they're open and read; they live inside your head....

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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Kynancy on October 29, 2004
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Rebecca Solnit's Savage Dreams is one of my favorite books, and this compilation of essays covers some of the same territory. She writes insightfully about the visual arts, the environment, and feminism in a way that causes us to look at the world differently. Her passion for the desert and its fragile ecosystems is especially evocative. I particularly liked her essays on dirt and Carlsbad Caverns.

Unlike a lot of criticism, her writing isn't overly difficult to read, and she infuses much of it with humor. She covered some artists whose work I love and introduced me to new ones. While reading this book, I have found myself thinking about language and space in new ways. The writer also asks us to question our relationship to the world in a powerful way.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By reading in CT on November 26, 2012
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As an environmentalist and artist who studies nature, I love this book. Solnit subtly shifts the landscape paradigm into a contemporary focus by re examining the past.
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There aren't that many books that include "Gender" in the title where you don't feel like you are being hit over the head with feminism. THIS IS ONE. This is a sweet book, like a first walk through a magic forest, where everything is there for you to see through new eyes. Life should be savored via many viewpoints, and this just added to my set.
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By MEJ on September 12, 2013
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Beautifully written and engaging from the start, I was inspired by Rebecca Solnit's book to look again at landscape photography and to go out with my camera. She writes with an easy, unpretentious style, avoiding the didactic proselytising that makes some art and literary critiques so dreary. I look forward to reading more by her.
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