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Hardcover Notes on a Shared Landscape: Making Sense of the American West Book

ISBN: 0961454741

ISBN13: 9780961454746

Notes on a Shared Landscape: Making Sense of the American West

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Format: Hardcover

Condition: Like New

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Book Overview

In his best-selling Art and Fear, David Bayles (with Ted Orland) closely examined personal and autobiographical episodes in search of general truths about artmaking. Bayles now turns that same attention to his native West.

When European Americans "discovered" the American West, they fell in love with the resplendent landscape. The love affair and its congenital flaws persists to this day.

Bayles writes: ". . . the question is...

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2 ratings

Very good as far as it goes, but would have loved something with more depth

This is a book of short personal essays on the American West by David Bayles. Many of them start in the form of a Socratic question, such as "what is the West," "where would you find the heart of the West," and so forth. In these particular essays, Bayles continues the Socratic theme by demolishing, overturning or in some way reframing the motive idea that lay behind the original question. In other essays, he slaughters sacred cows, or points out to the reader that many people in the West have not yet become that discerning about the West. Again, as noted, the essays are very good as far as they go. But they don't always wrestle with their issues deeply enough. It also seems that the essays, as nebulous as they are, could still be organized and grouped in some way, with "meta-essays" for each section.

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Notes on a Shared Landscape is a singular and important book, unlike anything I have experienced before. It's a seamless blend of personal and global, with an almost conversational, yet sophisticated writing style. It's about the Western United States only in the sense that the West was recently settled by Euro-Americans, and because the Author grew up there. But it's really about the interaction of humans and land everywhere, and is pertinent to everyone.
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