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Landscape And Memory Paperback – November 5, 1996
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From Library Journal
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
To support his thesis that aesthetic and religious expression and nature have always been and remain interconnected, Schama weaves together a variety of elements from many Western historical periods and places. Although on one one level his book could be viewed as a survey of Western art it is not. His premise is that our cultural legacy is the veneration of nature, that we do not inhabit a nature versus cultural world. Our culture is formed from our experience and our memory of our natural world. God is in the details and the impression of the Creator is impressed on the face of her creation.
LANDSCAPE has four main sections: Wood; Water; Rock; and Wood, Water, Rock. He begins with a backward journey to Eastern Europe, where his Jewish ancestors lived long ago. He searches for the family roots, and is reminded by a colleague, "Jews have legs, they don't have roots." Schama describes the great forest of Poland, oddly named Bialowieza--the realm of the Lithuanian Bison. Over the centuries, the forest has provided sustenance and sheltered many. During WWII, it became the hunting ground of the Nazis. His travels take him to Buchenwald the forest of beeches, once worshiped humans and now linked with the horrible deeds of men.Read more ›
I was dazzled by Schama's erudition and mastery of language, as he moved from making connections between Egyptian mythology and the fountains of Rome, or the myth of Robin Hood and rustic Englsh eccentrics of the 19C. This is a book that enhances one's experience, particularly if you live in EUrope and every day walk by the things that he describes. For example, I read it while we were living on the edge of Fontainebleau forest, in France, and inside the back cover of the book, I found a map of the forest that included our village of 600! To my astonishment, I then went on to read that Fontainebleau was apparently the first forest to have marked paths for hikers who visit from industrial cities, a method pioneered by a somewhat loopy bonapartist who had retired to the area, and whom the local authorities watched with suspicion in mid 19C. For anyone who loves hiking or sitting outside, you will find sections like that that speak to you, that are illuminating in a quirky personal way.
However, while these passages are wonderful and fun, for me they did not add up to much of anything beyond anecdotes. I enjoyed the facts, as a kind of entertainment that passed by as I read on, but they failed to coalesce into any deeper insights.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
As usually, Schama proves to be a great thinker and a great writer. Knowing that he also teaches Art History, I expected this book of his to contain his thoughts about painted... Read morePublished 4 months ago by Miriam Milman
Needs editing. Sharma loves the sound of his own voicePublished 17 months ago by Mary Jo Robertiello
This is one of the challenging book I have ever written. Schama creative, complex and storied manner of telling his stories is remarkable. Read morePublished 19 months ago by Michael J. Lavin
This is one of the best book I ever read. It tells history as it were a novel where every little detail hidden in the landscape throughout the world becomes a main actor of a plot. Read morePublished 20 months ago by Rocco Casareto Dal Luca
it was finally nice to read the history of another country besides the Big 4. Schama does a very good job of telling it.Published 21 months ago by M. s, payton
If you consider yourself a mesoCeltic, with ancestors who lived in conjunction with the land, this one will say muchPublished on February 3, 2014 by L. Bergeron
A fascinating and beautifully conceived text by an author skilled in bringing his subject to life. His deep interest and understanding of art threads through the book in word and... Read morePublished on October 16, 2013 by Stephen Hall
Book arrived as expected and in perfect condition. I have not read it yet but know I will enjoy it as I've enjoyied other Schama books.Published on September 5, 2013 by Amazon Customer
This is an incredible book about our cultural relationship to the concept of the forest in history. Many creative people who are painting, writing, thinking about the idea of... Read morePublished on August 9, 2013 by D. Arnold