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Man in the Landscape

A Historic View of the Esthetics of Nature

Paul Shepard With a new foreword by Dave Foreman

Publication Year: 2002

A pioneering exploration of the roots of our attitudes toward nature, Paul Shepard's most seminal work is as challenging and provocative today as when it first appeared in 1967. Man in the Landscape was among the first books of a new genre that has elucidated the ideas, beliefs, and images that lie behind our modern destruction and conservation of the natural world.

Departing from the traditional study of land use as a history of technology, this book explores the emergence of modern attitudes in literature, art, and architecture--their evolutionary past and their taproot in European and Mediterranean cultures. With humor and wit, Shepard considers the influence of Christianity on ideas of nature, the absence of an ethic of nature in modern philosophy, and the obsessive themes of dominance and control as elements of the modern mind. In his discussions of the exploration of the American West, the establishment of the first national parks, and the reactions of pioneers to their totally new habitat, he identifies the transport of traditional imagery into new places as a sort of cultural baggage.

Published by: University of Georgia Press

CONTENTS; ILLUSTRATIONS

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pp. v-vii

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FOREWORD

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pp. ix-xx

ONE NIGHT IN AFRICA, we came upon a leopard just after she had killed an impala. We watched as she carried her prey up twenty-five feet to the crook of a tree. Her muzzle was pink from warm blood. She was the most beautiful creature I had ever seen; I was in the most wonderful moment of my life....

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PREFACE

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pp. xxi-xxviii

THE PROSPECT OF this new printing of Man in the Landscape seemed at first a chance to make the big revisions and little touches that had come to mind over the years since its publication. I had wished, for example, that my language...

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PREFACE TO FIRST EDITION

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pp. xxix-xxx

IN THE MATTER OF indebtedness of idea and motive I find that there are so many to whom I owe so much that I have the feeling of being only a nexus of the momentum of others' thoughts and despair of claiming anything herein to be original. I am like a coral animal who stands ready to take...

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INTRODUCTION

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pp. xxxi-xxxviii

"TO PUT IT BLUNTLY," said my friend, "nature is out of date." He had already enumerated the various forms of impending world disaster, the smoke everywhere of social and political conflagrations, the drift of peoples in frantic search for identity and security, the removal of geographical...

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CHAPTER ONE: THE EYE

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pp. 3-27

THE HUMAN—the vertebrate—eye originated in the sea. Its basic structure is the same for all vertebrates, the most primitive of which are aquatic. When it is compared to eyes invented in the air, such as those of the insects, the differences are enormous; compared to eyes independently invented in the...

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CHAPTER TWO: A SENSE OF PLACE

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pp. 28-64

AN EARTHWORM, flung upon the sunlit ground, does not scamper up into the bushes, lunge into a stream, or bask on a hot rock. It squeezes underground as quickly as possible, where we may suppose it is more comfortable. Not at all sharing St. John's metaphysics, it flees from light as from the...

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CHAPTER THREE: THE IMAGE OF THE GARDEN

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pp. 65-118

THE BIBLICAL EDEN ("delight") is probably the valley of the Tigris in the vicinity of Babylon, a green strip extensively irrigated by an elaborate and ancient system of canals for nearly six thousand years. The Tigris and Euphrates are major river oases in the arid subequatorial regions of the...

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CHAPTER FOUR: THE ITINERANT EYE

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pp. 119-156

"SCENERY" comes from the Greek word for "stage." The idea that the world contains scenery marks one of the great* evolutions of human perception. It converted the human habitat into a kind of coinage by creating a generalized scheme of reference. It was the birth of the visual esthetic experience of...

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CHAPTER FIVE: THE VIRGIN DREAM [Includes Image Plates]

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pp. 157-189

THE SPIRITUAL EFFECT of the wilderness runs deeper than any other encounter in nature. Great distances and vast empty spaces, impenetrable forests and mighty waves suggest the power and omniscience of the supernatural, a presence...

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CHAPTER SIX: FELLOW CREATURES

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pp. 190-213

Schweitzer observed that the authors of the New Testament show little compassion for nature, compared to the Hebrews, because they expected the world to end. Although sympathy is implicit in the Christian commandment to love, Schweitzer noted that Western philosophy has followed other...

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CHAPTER SEVEN: VARIETIES OF NATURE HATING

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pp. 214-237

NEARLY EVERYBODY knows that this is an era of the ravagement of nature. It is one of those aspects of the times which we deplore, such as mass culture or a high incidence of crime. We put the problem in care of public agencies and interest groups, thereby organizing and delegating it. Occasionally...

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CHAPTER EIGHT: THE AMERICAN WEST

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pp. 238-274

PERHAPS THERE is no better example of the evocative power of natural landscapes than the response of westering pioneers to novel erosional remnants and angular cliffs. To many of the thousands who followed the Oregon Trail before 1850, the escarpments and sedimentary bluffs along...

SOURCES AND REFERENCES

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pp. 275-290

INDEX

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pp. 291-295


E-ISBN-13: 9780820327143
E-ISBN-10: 082032714X
Print-ISBN-13: 9780820324401
Print-ISBN-10: 082032440X

Page Count: 344
Publication Year: 2002