Cover

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Frontmatter

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Contents

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p. vii

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Foreword

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pp. ix-xii

There's an art to finding out where you are, an art you may not recognize--or know you lack--until you need it. Over three hundred years ago, in the spring of 1676, a young English boy made his way out of his shelter and started moving off through the forest. He had been taken prisoner by the Indians during the bloody war then being...

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Preface

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pp. xiii-xvi

There is a poem by James McGowan that I like very much. Its title is "On Writing an Illinois Poem," and its speaker is a would-be Midwestern bard who wants to write honestly and well about his adopted state. He finds himself unable to put pen to paper, though, sensing that he is not equipped for the task; he is stymied by a fundamental...

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Prologue: Reading the Border

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pp. 1-18

It is a brilliant May morning, the first truly summerlike day of the year. I am walking back and forth on Route 101 at the Connecticut-Rhode IsIand border--an ordinary enough stretch of road, yet one rendered significant by my knowledge that a geographical boundary runs through here and by the insistent presence of road signs....

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1. Of Maps and Minds: The Invisible Landscape

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pp. 19-52

To experience a geographical place, it seems, is to want to communicate about it. Innumerable works in a variety of media have been produced over the years as people have attempted to tell others what certain places look like and feel like, what they mean and how they got that way--efforts ranging from travel itineraries and guidebooks to...

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2. Folklore and the Sense of Place

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pp. 53-96

Wallace Stevens's "Anecdote of the Jar" reminds us of the necessary role that artifacts of human intelligence play in organizing our surroundings and making them meaningful. His jar imposes a pattern on the wilderness chaos; things can be located in relation to the fixed center which it provides; its symmetrical, geometrical shape seems...

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3. The Folklore of Place: The Coeur d'Alene Mining District, North Idaho

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pp. 97-207

In late September of 1989, I traveled to the South Fork of the Coeur d'Alene River in northern Idaho in search of Lopez's "local geniuses of American landscape." The valley through which the river runs is a deep gash which winds sinuously through the Coeur d'Alene Mountains of the Idaho panhandle. Motorists traverse it on Interstate 90: descending from Lookout Pass on the Montana border, they drive west...

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4. A Walk in the Invisible Landscape: The Essay of Place

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pp. 208-241

In a 1978 article, geographer Edmunds V. Bunkse called on scholars interested in accurately grasping the ways in which geography interacts and combines with real human lives to step beyond the confines of conventional academic geography and travel to places like the Coeur d'Alene mining district, talking to local residents, listening...

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5. The Essay of Place: Themes in the Cartography of the Invisible Landscape

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pp. 242-287

Kim Stafford, in his poem "There Are No Names But Stories"--a poem based on anthropologist Franz Boas's Geographical Names of the Kwakiutl lndians--demonstrates his awareness of the ultimate inextricability of history, landscape, and narrative. For the Kwakiutl of the poem, a map and a sequence of stories are one and the same;...

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Epilogue: Feeling Every Bump in the Ground

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pp. 289-296

When I was nine years old, my family moved from New Milford, Connecticut, to Neenah, Wisconsin. In the house that we moved into, the driveway was slightly lower than the floor of the garage, leaving a bump of about an inch and a half where the two concrete slabs met. That unremarkable bump insinuated itself into my daily life in several...

Notes

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pp. 297-309

Bibliography

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pp. 311-317

Index

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pp. 319-326