Wednesday, December 19, 2012

How Nature Affects Our Imagination

The Huffington Post discusses it, here.

From the piece...

We have been aware for a long time that landscape, the natural world, deeply affects many individual writers and artists. Very often it is the landscape of childhood that imprints itself indelibly on the creative imagination, although there are exceptions.

A newer question though is whether landscape shapes, or more modestly perhaps becomes one of the things that shapes, whole cultures, their languages, their religion and their mythology; and of course therefore their responses to their artists and artistic forms. Is it by chance that the great monotheisms emerged from the desert? That perhaps the most pessimistic theology I know of, that of the Norse gods, developed in the place of the longest darkest winters? That, in the wildly diverse broken landscapes of the Mediterranean islands, Greek mythology has characters constantly metamorphosing into something else -- animals, stars or Gods? Or that, in Northern European fairy stories (like the Grimm Brothers' collections), forests are the place of both peril and triumph over adversity?

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