Edgelands Journeys into England's True Wilderness (PDF)

K the authors tell a story about how Auden would get xcited about meeting minors but found it difficult to sustain a conversation with any of them This get xcited about meeting minors but found it difficult to sustain a conversation with any of them This a uniue and personal collection of meandering and often beautiful poetic prose The authors find transcendence in the most mundane of landscapes but fail to make a connection with the lived xperience of those who pass through them Paul Farley and Michael Symmons Roberts introduce us to a part of our world that we had long forgotten ven xistedThis unlikely addition to my bookshelf was recommended to me by someone who has since gone off on travels to Shangri La in a hot air balloon but When They Return I they return I be sure to Buried express my unending gratitude for their counsel Edgelands is a series of journeys into the parts of England s wilderness that we are all accustomed toither ignoring or looking past Neither the town nor country but spaces where urban and rural negotiate and renegotiate their borders They can be places that we don t want to see like power stations sewage works or landfill sites places of former industrialisation that are now sites of intense retail competition for weekend shoppers or ven simply undeveloped wastelandThe authors who visit many different dgeland areas draw on history to xplore what has happened to these places and then xplore what they are used for now ven reminiscing about their own childhood memories which uite often has the ffect of bringing memories of your own flooding back You ll find yourself not only picturing the scene they re describing but also trying to remember a place from your own past that says the same thing They give us an insight into the changing nature of England s towns and show how the dgelands have ven within their own lifetimes transformed moved ven been occupied by the diverse wildlifeBoth authors are accomplished poets themselves and also draw on the poetry of others as well as art and literature to try and shine a spotlight on what they believe is the beauty of the dgelands both the natural and the not so natural They achieve their goal with resounding success now I can t ven take a train ride or a bus out of town without gazing out of the window at the dgelands of the north A Certain Justice (Adam Dalgliesh, east and wondering just the same things that Farley and Roberts do in this bookWithach chapter devoted to a different subject many of which are inextricably linked the book is not a linear journey from the first page to the last it is not chapter after chapter of simply describing particular places The Shadow Reader either there is also much of theirxplorations in the process of writing the book Documenting visits to the many places they write about an outlet village the Birmingham NEC a pallet yard A book Yes a book about the Cinderella Unmasked (Fairytale Fantasies edgelands The what Pallets It s about pallets Edgelands is a wonderful insight into long forgotten about places It will give you a greater appreciation for the things you never notice But most importantly it s just a fascinating andnjoyable book to read really xciting and surprising stuff will change the way you lookoverlook at a lot of things defo makes train and bus journeys xciting also there s a lot of really lovely digressions on birds A very disappointing book I bought it The Power Of A Choice expecting tonjoy a series of prose poems voking the strange attraction of city margins Instead I found a series of pseudo intellectual ssays about the different things to be found there There was little sense of the particular just the authors generalised and often irritating whimsy I shall not be keeping this book Personal xplorations and childhood recollections by the authors united into one voice plus a good trawl of references to writings art and photography informed by those dgelands which border the city proper and the countryside seen only as The Case for Paleolibertarianism and Realignment on the Right edges if as usually simply travelled through but as territories in their own right when imaginatively visited At the uarter way through point this isnjoyable and Oh My God, What a Complete Aisling easy to read succinctly chaptered into subjectsg Dens Containers Paths and ach chapter chunked into paragraphs with spaces so as not to wear out the typical modern reader Both authors are poets the blurb refers to them as well known poets a phrase which is a crime against literacy since if they are well known it seems insulting to both them and the reader to assert the fact As poets they point out that poetry often deals with the mundane and overlooked which they do here and too they have some witty images and asides which possibly signifies some modern poetry How one may long however for a writer to realise that in dealing with liminal issues a liminal discourse a refreshment is reuired rather than a tarted up trudge through familiar banality To be fair the method of working is to snapshot as image beyond concept concept abstracted from image and metonym a particular scene and move on uickly to thereby voke a running contrast between looking and seeing between fast time and slow time plus for those of us who still wander wastelands and dgelands literally and through the places of the mind there is the delight of recognition for those of us whose childhoods were spent in these places there is a deeper delight Perha. Railways motorways wasteland and water a presence in the world and a strange beauty all of their ownPaul Farley and Michael Symmons Roberts both well known poets have lived and worked and known these places all their lives and in Edgelands their journeying prose fuses in the anonymous tradition to allow this in between world to speak up for itself They write about mobile masts and gravel pits business parks and landfill. After an intro which nearly me off altogether its we made it feel Far Too Much Like too much like manifesto settles down into a charming celebration of the pleasures of overgrown nowheres in particular and why mothballed building sites make the best playgrounds Like Iain Sinclair the authors are both poets but their prose isn t uite so dense for the sake of it and nor are they such thoroughly miserable sods Though I was at times slightly frustrated by the uncertainty of this never was dgeland convincingly defined for me it seemed to just mean anything town or country that the authors wanted to define as such and though it did wander off into pretentiousness at times I did njoy thisThe co authors discuss various pretentiousness at times I did njoy thisThe co authors discuss various of the British landscape focussing on boundaries and hinterlands Allotments canals dumps wastelands retail parks and many it s a curiously put together mixture of poetry academic review and diverse discussion that worked best when it was being generic though I did get added pleasure from some of the West Midlands sections I was familiar with At times it took itself too seriously I felt and there did seem to be sweeping statements arly on which failed to convince me but most of it was good There were parts which I really njoyed parts which I felt myself gloss over and barely take in but overall it was a pleasant and interesting read Beautiful and Dare to Lead: Brave Work. Tough Conversations. Whole Hearts. engrossing Psychogeography is a battleground you ve got social commentators using it and artists and occultists These authors being poets do their bit here to stake a claim for the right of poets to use the psychogeographical kitbag There are some asidesarly on about the miserabilist tendencies of psychogeographers a not so suitable dig at the likes of Iain Sinclair and Will Self The book thus sets out its credentials as inclined to beauty than socio cultural critiue And there s nothing wrong with thatThe writing and observations are very beautiful with those bright splashes of shocking originality that only poetry can do But I don t think they scape ntirely their own accusation of miserabilism specially in some of the later chapters xamining the Glitter Bomb (A Scrapbooking Mystery, effects of commercialisation and commodification upon the landscape Could it be shock horror that psychogeography is something than a well defined sense of place which poetry has always found itself so welluipped to Il morto di Maigret evoke Perhaps the psychogeographical kitbag has a logic all its own which leads one inevitably into critiueI think this accounts perhaps for the authors choice of scope thedgelands spaces not uite in the city because in the city it would be harder to scape the impression of a critiue or challenge to the stablished order It s harder to say things about urban spaces without positioning oneself ither inside or outside the consensus view The dgelands however afford a certain aesthetic distance Occultists for instance love these spaces because they provide a refuge and a cover for their activities outside the mainstream For the artist or poet however I suspect that they offer the attraction of being neither inside nor outsideBut all of that aside poetry still kicks arse when it comes to an Globalization: A Multi-Dimensional System, Third Edition evocation of the sense of place The beauty and sensitivity of this book are thannough to carry it through For someone who has always been scared of abandoned cars on the side of a roads this book was always going to at least hold my attention The authors are fascinated by the spaces between the urban and the rural and do well in attempting to break down this particularly prevalent binary by focusing on all the bits that don t fit Given that the authors are poets with university affiliations rather than geographers this is about imaginative space than physicalThis reads like a poetry collection than a sustained polemic which is a good thing in my view The authors flit between ideas and ponderings Billionaires Contract Engagement (Kings of the Boardroom effortlessly using the single worded chapter headings Wire Ruins Woodlands Canals Containerstc as springboards for thinking about what these non spaces mean what they symbolize what they do how they make you feel The authors draw on a range of poets artists and architects to prop up their own ideas but dodge po faced intensity for foolish often tongue in cheek romanticism Tellingly the authors are often scathing in their off hand criticisms of so called psycho geographers they are poets with little to no interest in meaningThis book is at its strongest in its Sexual Secrets evocation of the English landscape If Wordsworth lived in modern day Wigan and was charged with sending occasionalditorials from the car park of the abandoned Big W warehouse on the dge of town he may have produced something like this book The authors are less convincing however when any actual people trespass in their imaginative wilderness In one chapter they pay lip service to an interview with a night warden but seem less interested in him than what he represents In another chapter a receptionist at a pallet yard on the dge of Birmingham is bemused by the authors reuest to have a wander around The authors inability to understand the receptionist s confusion speaks volumes about how obtuse and how irritating artists can be In another part of the boo. Edgelands xplores a wilderness that is much closer than you think a debatable zone neither the city nor the countryside but a place in between so familiar it is never seen for looking Passed through negotiated unnamed ignored the dgelands have become the great wild places on our doorsteps places so difficult to acknowledge they barely xist Edgelands forms a critiue of what we value as 'wild' and allows our allotments.

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Edgelands Journeys into England's True Wilderness

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