Janie's Reviews > As Eve Said to the Serpent: On Landscape, Gender, and Art

As Eve Said to the Serpent by Rebecca Solnit
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's review
Jun 23, 2008

it was amazing
bookshelves: art, inspiration
Read in June, 2008

". . . if environmental problems are really cultural problems -- about the nature of our desires and our perceptions -- then a crucial territory to explore or transform is the territory of the mind." Sounds simple, right?
This is a comprehensive analysis of our evolving relationship with the landscape and how it plays out in our experience as artists. The book begins with the story of Eden and the fall of man and continues forward in time, exploring the influence of the early radical thinkers of the seventeenth century, Francis Bacon, Descartes, and Newton; of Oppenheimer's atom bomb and how his choice of Los Alamos symbolized the grandeur of his vision; to other people and events that helped shape our relationship to the land in profound ways. Solnit examines how artists have respond to the idea of manifest destiny and challenge the mythologies of land and gender.

It's slow reading for me, not because it's dryly written or plodding, but because it's packed with so much important information. Fascinating read. I'll be renewing this book several times over to finish it.

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message 1: by Dan (new) - added it

Dan Robinson Thanks for the review! Well put together - Although you give fair warning that it is "slow reading" it sounds more readable than Capra's The Turning Point. It does sound as though the theme is similar, and it turns me back to the movie Mindwalk - which I recommend to all who are interested in how we think and how we therefore relate to the world and are parts of the world.....

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