Wickerby: An Urban Pastoral
AbeBooks Mitglied seit 1996
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AbeBooks Mitglied seit 1996
Titel: Wickerby: An Urban Pastoral
Verlag: Three Rivers Press, US
Über diesen Titel
"Outside my window, the city lights are taking hold now, the breeze-brushed, gently pulsating grid. Why is a cemented aggregate of homes arranged in a tall, tight cluster any further from nature than one wood home within the woods? Because it is so thoroughly man-made? But we wouldn't call the towering carpenter ant's nest that I found one day in Wickerby's collapsing southeast corner 'ant-made.' We are no less natural than the next creature except that thinking makes it seem so. There is no such thing as nature. Wickerby would remind me of this. There is just the earth and us, the name-callers, standing upon it, calling those places without us, nature."
Against the backdrop of a tumbledown Brooklyn neighborhood, Charles Siebert, a native Brooklynite and longtime city-dweller, reflects upon the five months he has just spent at Wickerby, an old, collapsing log cabin in the woods of Canada. In vivid, lyrical prose, Siebert relates the events that prompted his sudden departure to Wickerby, and, while recounting the details of his isolated existence there, arrives at a series of stunningly original insights that explore and often explode the classic Romantic distinctions between city and country, man-made and natural. Along the way, the book's episodic, wide-ranging narrative takes us from Brooklyn's rooftops, where "pigeon mumblers" chase their flocks into the sky, to Albert, Wickerby's reclusive caretaker who pilfers the cabin's artifacts for his own yard sales.
In what emerges as a refreshing subversion of the typical log cabin book, this beautifully composed account of a journey away from the city ultimately allows us to view the city anew: not as the traditional antagonist of the natural world, but as a logical and inevitable outgrowth of that world, an entity as wondrous and awe-inspiring as anything found in nature.
From the Hardcover edition.
"This delicious memoir tweaks the Thoreauvian ideal in a tribute to city life. . . . Comparisons to classics such as Walden and Pilgrim at Tinker Creek are inevitable, but Siebert's book holds up."
"Highly recommended. This is not a typical 'man escapes to the natural world and becomes whole' story. Rather the lines between city and country become blurred, giving the impression that one leads to the other and that both worlds inspire their unique awe."
"The poles of Siebert's pastoral are Brooklyn, of which he is a native, and the landscape of southern Quebec, where a decrepit spruce-log cabin, called Wickerby, stands in an open field. . . . Siebert's enterprise is to reconnect the city with nature. Siebert . . . joins man and nature, machine and flesh, city and country in a single vision, which is rooted in an instinctive human ambition . . . beautifully evoked."
--Verlyn Klinkenborg, New York Times Book Review
"A Roger Tory Peterson of the outer-borough streets, an Audubon of Grand Army Plaza. This guy Siebert is a writer. And he's not just a writer, he's an observer . . . he is, in fact, one of the city's sweetest, most clear-eyed chroniclers since E. B. White, and, at its best, this book reads like White's classic Here Is New York transposed to the outer boroughs and the l990s."
--Bill McKibben, New York Observer
"A work of great humor, deep humanity, and breathtaking sentences, Wickerby manages--very genially--to turn Walden completely inside out and upside down. Charles Seibert upends all our preconceptions about 'nature' and 'civilization,' two words that look completely different by the end of this gem of a book. Seibert brings a wonderful new voice to American nature writing."
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