Download Across the open field : essays drawn from English landscapes by Laurie Olin PDF

By Laurie Olin

"Twenty-eight years in the past I went to England for a three-month stopover at and relaxation. What i discovered replaced my life."

So starts off this memoir through one in all America's best-known panorama architects, Laurie Olin. Raised in a frontier city in Alaska, expert in Seattle and ny, Olin came upon himself disappointed along with his task as an city architect and accredited a call for participation to England to take a respite from paintings. What he came across, in abundance, was once the serendipity of a human surroundings outfitted through the years to answer the land's personal personality and to the folks who lived and labored there. For Olin, the English geographical region was once a palimpsest of the main eloquent and relocating kind, but whose manifestation was once of standard constructions intended to take care of their population and additional their work.

With evocative language and delightful line drawings, the writer takes us again to his advent to the scenes of English state cities, their historic universities, meandering waterways, and dramatic cloudscapes racing in from the Atlantic. He limns the geologic histories chanced on in the rock, the near-forgotten histories of place-names, and the hot histories of educate traces and automobile routes. evaluating the expansion of establishing within the English nation-state, Olin attracts a few sobering conclusions approximately our sleek way of life and its expanding separation from the landscape.

As a lot a plea for saving the trendy American panorama because it is a passionate exploration of what makes the English panorama so generally English, Across the Open Field is "an affectionate ramble via genuine areas of lasting worth."

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Additional info for Across the open field : essays drawn from English landscapes

Example text

As I was to learn later, the drive paralleled the Thames River valley along a low ridge through farming country quintessentially English. To the left, across a HERE IS AN ELUSIVE ASPECT Above, the Thames River valley looking north to the Cotswolds from the edge of the village; below, chalk, corn, hedgerows, and clouds above the farms. Buckland, Oxfordshire. 1. 26 CHAPTER TWO succession of hedgerows and barley fields, lay the Vale of the White Horse, Uffington, and the Downs. To the right lay Oxfordshire, and ahead lay the Cotswolds.

The few village shops open; housewives make their trips to and fro; delivery trucks circulate about noiselessly. A tractor with a wagon purrs past. A dog barks. A cat glides across a road and disappears under a gate. Swallows and larks zip past above. Cicadas drone from the fields and thatch roofs. A car passes. Laundry is hung out, milk is taken in, trash burned. A lawnmower whirs somewhere in the distance. Someone begins to make the small, sharp noises of hoeing weeds in a kitchen garden beyond a wall.

One of the 17 CHAPTER ONE most important lessons I learned in England was that landscape designs can and do communicate various messages without necessarily producing a narrative as words do. Just what these messages are and the methods or devices of which they consist are of great interest to a new generation of scholars at work today. As a practitioner I consider it part of my life's work to acquire and employ such knowledge successfully, whether I ever manage to explain adequately to others what I have learned and done.

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