The Mountains Cease To Be Blue When You Arrive Among Them

August 29, 2010

This might be an esoteric request, but I know there exists vast stores of literary acumen hidden amongst these tickers and temperature charts.

As I leave this place, and think about the 23 places I’ve been before and anticipate settling in another place for the last time, dear God, I’m thinking about places. Do any of you know any good books about place? Any authors who write books that say things like this:

“Perhaps it’s that you can’t go back in time, but that you can return to the scenes of a love, of a crime, of happiness, and of a fatal decision; the places are what remain, are what you can possess, are what is immortal. They become the tangible landscape of memory , the places that made you, and in some way you too become them. They are what you can possess and what in the end possesses you.”

Rebecca Solnit

A Field Guide to Getting Lost


7 Responses to “The Mountains Cease To Be Blue When You Arrive Among Them”

  1. LPC said

    Well, this is what comes to mind. I haven’t read it in 13 years, but this is what comes to mind. Dakota: A Spiritual Geography, by Kathleen Norris. Or, completely different, Cadillac Desert by Mark Reisner.

  2. LPC said

    And BTW, I was subscribed both by email AND my Reader, for some reason. So I unsubscribed from email but kept the Reader:).

  3. almost anything by ian frazier ends up being about place, when you get down to it. great plains is the one i’ve liked most recently.

    loren eiseley’s the night country.

    i will think more on this when i don’t have a migraine.

  4. Ms Loaf said

    There’s a great book called Poets on Place, an anthology where a guy went around interviewing people who live in different places and asking them about how living their affects their writing. I love it. It’s by W. T. Pfefferle.

    I really love the anthology State by State: A Panoramic Portrait of America with 50 writers writing about their home state. The one for New Mexico, by Ellery Washington is particularly amazing.

    Eudora Welty wrote a lot about place, some great things too. I’ll keep thinking about this.

  5. Schroedinger said

    E. Annie Proulx and Barbara Kingsolver both come to mind, as their stories are so shaped by the landscapes of their characters.

  6. isa said

    I agree about barbara kingsolver–high tide in tucson is particularly good for that. I’ll see if I can think of others for you, too.

  7. Good question. Also, I LOVE Rebecca Solnit. Absolutely adore. Although I have to admit I have a couple of her books that I’ve not read in their entirety, largely because I read a bit and then I have to stop and go have a think.

    I haven’t read any Tony Hillerman in a long time, but I remember being struck by how much his novels are tied to the desert. If you like mysteries, that is. I feel like there should be lots of other titles/authors popping into my head, but my brain is a little frazzled today.

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