Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: john crace, landmarks, nature, nature writing, reading, robert macfarlane, the guardian, the new nature writing
It’s very important to be able to laugh at ourselves.
The inimitable John Crace gave me the chance to do this with his Digested Read of Robert MacFarlane’s new book Landmarks in The Guardian. You can read it here. It’s extremely funny.
I like Macfarlane. He’s a fine writer, he helps me look at nature and my environment more deeply. He inspires me. But it’s good to critique, and if this can be done humorously, more the better. What critical questions do we need to ask about any authors, especially the ones we admire? What bits of criticism don’t we agree with? (for example, I don’t think ‘Macfarlish’ is quite fair – his introducing us to the authors who inspire us is for me a real service). What hits home that we’d rather didn’t?
It is also good to read fine writers like Katherine Norbury, Helen Macdonald, Esther Woolfson and Kathleen Norris against the male canon of the New Nature Writing.
That said, I’m looking forward to reading Landmarks at some point soon. I hope it’s as good as The Old Ways.
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