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About This Life: Journeys on the Threshold of Memory Paperback – April 27, 1999
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Lopez has always been interested in tearing down artificial divides between nature and culture, landscape and identity, and nowhere does he do so more powerfully than in About This Life. These essays cover ground from the remote (in the group of travel essays entitled "Out of Country") to the familiar ("Indwelling"), the personal to the archetypal ("Remembrance" and "An Opening Quartet"). Whether he's joyriding around the world with air cargo, performing burials for animals found dead by the side of the road, or lamenting the commodification of the American landscape, Lopez writes with a surgeon's precision, a musician's ear, and a painter's eye for beauty found in unexpected places. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
What the other reviewers say about his attitude towards life and nature is right. He is very concerned with geography, not just the physical geography of a place, but also the emotional geography of a place. In a time when we don't always feel very connected to places, reading this book could help you feel connected again, to glimmer what it is like to really feel a part of the place in which you live.
I recommeded the chapter on wood firing of pottery - Effleurage: The Stroke of Fire- to friends who are potters. The world of anagama kilns was opened to me.
About traveling , Lopez states:"If I were to now visit another country,I would ask my local companion, before I saw any museum or library, any factory or fabled town, to walk me in the country of his or her youth, to tell me the name of things and how, traditionally, they have been fitted together in a community. I would ask for the stories, the voice of memory over the land. I would ask to taste the wild nuts and fruits, to see their fishing lures, their bouquets, their fences. I would ask about the history of storms there, the age of trees, the winter color of the hills. Only then would I ask to see the museums."
Read this book and enjoy the journey.
So, when I pick up a book of essays, my expectations are generally low; if I find two or three pieces that made me think, or awakened an emotion or two in me, then the book is a success. I don't think a writer should suffer a bad review just because I'm not bright enough to grasp what he/she is writing. Or whether I'm interested in the subject matter.
And so four essays in this book jumped that personal hurtle of mine: the 747 piece is masterful; the essay on picking up road kill made me sad; the personal piece on the woman who jumped into his car was haunting; and the honest autobiograhical piece at the beginning (where he goes to camp with John Steinbeck's kids) is good in that it gives a glimpse as to what access to, what recently has been called, the one percent can mean to a young man. The hurdle was leaped. A success in my book.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Very insightful look into the mind of Barry Lopez and why he writes. He paints beautiful word pictures. He seems very honest in his self revelations.Published 6 months ago by Amy Bethea
Great to read - well worth the purchase and postage along with other Barry Lopez books thank you for the brilliant readPublished on February 27, 2014 by kanook321
Scenes from Lopez's essays have stayed with me for years. The range of interests he writes about are broadly edifying and delivered in the most eloquent prose. Read morePublished on January 18, 2014 by Craig Caddell
Barry Lopez reminds one a bit of Oliver Sacks in terms of his ability to draw global conclusions about the human experience from the subjects of his investigation. Read morePublished on September 22, 2013 by Bryan Lee
I like barry lopez - he has some good short stories that can take you through a journey. I would recommendPublished on May 9, 2013 by matty