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Wind and the Source, The

In the Shadow of Mont Ventoux

Allen S. Weiss

Publication Year: 2005

What does it mean to love a landscape? Why do certain authors have a predilection for specific landscapes? Why might one be fascinated by a landscape in which one would never wish to live? How does the lay of the land fashion the form of the poem? How does the wind infuse the breath? In The Wind and the Source, Allen S. Weiss explores the role of a significant yet elusive feature of the French landscape in literature, philosophy, and art: the legendary, mysterious, monolithic Mont Ventoux. This is not a book about picturesque, touristic Provence, but about the manifestation of an extreme limit of the imagination that happens to have Provence as its site, as its fantasyland. Weiss is concerned with the vicissitudes of the desire to write about a landscape, the desire to write in a landscape, and perhaps most curiously, the desire to write against a landscape. This is a book about love of the landscape, and abstraction from it; it is an account of how a mountain became a myth, and how an aesthetic and literary study became a metaphysical quest.

Published by: State University of New York Press

The Wind and the Source

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pp. i-vii

Contents

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pp. ix-

Illustrations

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pp. xi-xii

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Preface

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pp. xiii-xiv

What does it mean to love a landscape? Why do certain regions become utopian ideals, such as Provence and Tuscany for so many Americans? Why do certain authors have a predilection for specific landscapes? Why might one be fascinated by a landscape in which one would never wish to live? How does the lay of the land fashion the form of the poem? How does the wind infuse the breath?

Acknowledgments

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pp. xv-

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1. Ascent

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pp. 1-26

Roussillon, Friday 17 November 1999, 4:20 P.M. The only white in the landscape is the peak of Mont Ventoux, the appropriately named Col des Temp

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2. Disappearance

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pp. 27-46

In 1992, immediately after the publication in Paris of my Mirrors of Infinity: The French Formal Garden and 17th-Century Metaphysics, I was invited to appear on Alain Veinstein’s radio broadcast dedicated to recent publications, Du jour au lendemain. At the end of the interview, he posed a question—in the form of a play on words—intended to lead me into some revelations more intimate than those allowed in ...

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3. Metaphor

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pp. 47-62

It is curious that none of the critics, whether benevolent or malevolent, of my Unnatural Horizons: Paradox and Contradiction in Landscape Architecture, noted that each chapter of this book ends with the disappearance of the landscape: the Italian Renaissance garden disappears within the textual labyrinth of a web of icons and symbols, emblems and myths; the Baroque garden is sublimated by pure spiritualization and dematerialization, ...

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4. Breath

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pp. 63-76

Several years ago, I was intrigued by the extraordinary reading of the irregular wave patterns on sixth-century B.C. Ionico-Massalian pottery offered by Gustaf Sobin in Luminous Debris: these waves represent an originary rhythm, before rationalizing Greek thought would regulate motion by transmuting it into cadence, meter, good form. The rhythm of these waves—before Logos succumbed to the rule of ...

Notes

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pp. 77-89

Select Bibliography

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pp. 91-95

About the Author

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pp. 99-

Index

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pp. 101-102


E-ISBN-13: 9780791483084
Print-ISBN-13: 9780791464892
Print-ISBN-10: 079146489X

Page Count: 118
Illustrations: 15 b/w photographs, 1 figure
Publication Year: 2005

Research Areas

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Subject Headings

  • Landscapes -- History.
  • Ventoux Mountain (France) -- In literature.
  • Authorship -- Psychological aspects.
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