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Comment: Good copy with moderate cover and page wear from being handled and read. Accessories or dust jacket may be missing. Could be an ex-library copy that will have all the stickers and or marking of the library. Some textual or margin notes and possibly contain highlighting.
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The Tree Hardcover – 1994

4.1 out of 5 stars 19 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"The most original argument for wilderness preservation I have encountered." - Washington Post


"A text of unusual beauty and perception." - Publishers Weekly --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

From the Inside Flap

In this series of moving recollections involving both his childhood and his work as a mature artist, John Fowles explains the impact of nature on his life and the dangers inherent in our traditional urge to categorize, to tame and ultimately to possess the landscape. This acquisitive drive leads to alienation and an antagonism to the apparent disorder and randomness of the natural world. For John Fowles the tree is the best analogue of prose fiction, symbolizing the wild side or our psyche, and he stresses the importance in art of the unpredictable, the unaccountable and the intuitive. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 108 pages
  • Publisher: The Nature Company; First Edition edition (1994)
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0006RFDAY
  • Product Dimensions: 7.8 x 7.6 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,196,163 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
When I received this fantastic book I was absolutely blown away by the life-changing words. This is the thirtieth anniversary of this wonderful nonfiction look at how the natural, "wild" world affects our human lives. Mr. Fowles passed away in 2006, but his legacy of classic stories including The Gift and, my favorite, The French Lieutenant's Woman, will remain part of our culture for the rest of time. But this small yet, intricate, look at how this fantastic author "saw" life, and the relationships that made up his own existence, should truly be a permanent fixture on every human's bookshelf.

Talk about taking me home to my upbringing in the "hills" of Connecticut; this author first speaks about the trees. Throughout history, trees have provided many different things to different people; they've been the sanctuary for some, as well as the hiding place for the "justly and unjustly persecuted and hunted." This is a powerful statement. Whether living in a city or wild country, if the trees could speak, we can only imagine what stories they could tell.

Mr. Fowles grew up in London - the huge city where activity was a constant. His father was a man who had a small garden in the back of their flat, and worked very hard at keeping his bushes, flowers, and trees alive. Here was the place where John's father would go and be one with nature. John, unlike his father, wanted the "openness" of the countryside. He wanted to go on "woodland walks" where a path would lead him into the unknown. He even goes into a garden in the old Swedish university town of Uppsala, where a beautiful garden resides that is equaled only by the one spoken of in the Book of Genesis. But the one "chord" that kept driving home with me was his father.
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Format: Paperback
John Folwles is widely known as a novelist, but many revere his work `The Tree". There is an introduction by Barry Lopez who says he had to get up and walk away from the book several times because its thought was so stimulating. For a lot of people this is a wonderful meditation. But for many others the thoughts will be esoteric and much too philosophical.

Fowles does tell of the differences between him and his father, especially in the fact that his father tightly pruned and forced his fruit trees to his will, while Fowles is content to let everything revert to a natural state. The thoughts are rambling and the style is not easy.

An example of his style is: "Nowhere are the two great contemporary modes of reproducing reality, the word and the camera, more at a loss; less able to capture the sound (or soundlessness) and the scents, the temperatures and moods, the all-roundness, the different levels of being in the vertical ascent from ground to tree-top, in the range of different forms of life and the subtlety of their inter-relationships." For many , most of the reading will require a double read to understand. The thoughts are all superior and interesting just not the easiest to comprehend at a quick glance.
This book is indeed for the philosophers among us.
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Format: Paperback
This is the 30th anniversary edition of John Fowles legendary essay about trees. Or rather, what trees mean in a greater sense than just the biological. At first, I expected this to be similar to Rachel Carson's Silent Spring-both were written decades ago. However, this slim text is more of a set of questions rather than answers. In fact, despite the title, it could be said that trees are just the smallest portion of his purpose.

"Do we feel that unless we create evidence-photographs, journal entries, picked and pressed flowers, tape recordings, pocketed stones-we haven't actually been intimate with nature?"

Fowles was known for writing The French Lieutenant's Woman as well as other fiction titles. Here, in this book, he discusses via anecdotes the relationship between humans and nature, and the juxtaposition between nature on its own and our experience of nature. First, the introduction by Barry Lopez comfortably sets the scene, and hints that this is no simple environmental manifesto. And never does Fowles lecture about how people should view nature; rather, he talks about what nature may or may not mean in a larger sense.

For example, he talks about his childhood home where his father cultivated small garden and fruit trees. Nothing was out of place, and while it was in the city, his father managed to tame anything unruly from the garden. Clearly it was his goal to conquer the plot of land. He was the victor over it. Yet his son, Fowles, purchases property that is larger, but by no means tame. Fowles neither cultivates or cuts back, he sees no point in amending the soil, pruning the trees, and to the horror of his father, the parcel of land is wild. Is it a moral battle over who conquers the natural world?
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Outstanding essay on the benefits of letting Mother Nature run wild. Written with his wonderful command of the English language. It is not particularly heavy going, but you must be patient and re-read the occasional passage. But patience is rewarded. It is definitely not a dry appeal for conservation - it goes much deeper than that.
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