The Living Mountain

The Living Mountain This is an alternate Cover Edition for ISBN ISBN The Living Mountain is a lyrical testament in praise of the Cairngorms It is a work deeply rooted in Nan Shepherd s knowle

  • Title: The Living Mountain
  • Author: Nan Shepherd Robert Macfarlane
  • ISBN: null
  • Page: 362
  • Format: Paperback
  • This is an alternate Cover Edition for ISBN10 0857861832 ISBN13 9780857861832.The Living Mountain is a lyrical testament in praise of the Cairngorms It is a work deeply rooted in Nan Shepherd s knowledge of the natural world, and a poetic and philosophical meditation on our longing for high and holy places Drawing on different perspectives of the mountain environment,This is an alternate Cover Edition for ISBN10 0857861832 ISBN13 9780857861832.The Living Mountain is a lyrical testament in praise of the Cairngorms It is a work deeply rooted in Nan Shepherd s knowledge of the natural world, and a poetic and philosophical meditation on our longing for high and holy places Drawing on different perspectives of the mountain environment, Shepherd makes the familiar strange and the strange awe inspiring Her sensitivity and powers of observation put her into the front rank of nature writing.

    One thought on “The Living Mountain”

    1. One autumn afternoon, about ten years ago, I sat on a mountainside in Colorado surrounded by aspens. As the wind blew, I could hear the leaves rustle, first from far away, then closer and closer, until I felt the wind in my hair, with leaves rustling loudly overhead. Then slowly, the rustling moved further away, until the sequence started again. Sitting, listening with all my senses, made me feel a part of the mountain. I could smell the autumn leaves, feel a slight chill in the air, hear and fe [...]

    2. Considering it was barely 100 pages long, this book took a long time to read, even taking into account the 2 week break when I left it behind when going on holiday. It took time because it deserved time - to give it a thoroughly focused, slow reading. The chapters layered different aspects of the Cairngorms, one on top of another. beginning with the geology and overall structure of them, she worked through a variety of natural aspects of them, leading up to plants, birds & man. However, this [...]

    3. This is something of a lost nature classic that has been championed by Robert Macfarlane (who contributes a 25-page introduction to this Canongate edition). Composed during the later years of World War II but only published in 1977, it’s Shepherd’s tribute to her beloved Cairngorms, a mountain region of Scotland. But it’s not a travel or nature book in the way you might usually think of those genres. It’s a subtle, meditative, even mystical look at the forces of nature, which are majesti [...]

    4. I'm a bit embarrassed when I say that I haven't explored much of Scotland, my home country. The parts I have explored have been incredible. The Isle of Harris (Western Isles) is one of my most recent explorations of Scotland, and what a beautiful part of the world it is. The edgy and cragged land of greens and greys, the long, winding single roads on the twisted hills, the purest, clearest waters, a piece of land far from conventional settlements.Nan Shepherd's The Living Mountain has got me wan [...]

    5. The Cairngorms are a mountain range roughly in the middle of Scotland, it is can be a breathtaking beautiful part of the world, but in bad weather can be harsh, unforgiving and unrelenting. This was a part of the world that Shepherd loved and lived close to all her life.It is a short book, originally written during the Second World War, containing 12 chapters centred around aspects of the mountain range. She writes about the quality of the light up in the mountains, the water, how the landscape [...]

    6. A wonderful tribute to the Cairngorm mountains. This short book is beautifully written by someone who not only knew the mountains inside and out but is also passionate about walking and our relationship to the natural world.

    7. The Living Mountain is a poetic and philosophical account of the author's decades of wandering in the Cairngorms. Genre-defying, at times aimless, it is an intensely lyrical piece of writing, full of humility. Shepherd asserts that 'knowing another is endless' and over the years her wanderings took her across the plateaus and 'inside' the nooks and crannies of the hills. Not for her a quick tick of the summit.I read this book before a winter climbing trip to the Cairngorms, and know I will revis [...]

    8. A perfect miniature of nature writing, this book encapsulates a wide range of experiences amassed over years of exploring the high Cairngorms.

    9. I picked this up at the GoMA library simply because I remembered that it is one of Ali Smith's favourites. It is hailed as 'one of the masterpieces of twentieth-century nature writing', a genre which I definitely want to read more of. In The Living Mountain, written during the Second World War and first published three decades later, 'Shepherd describes her journeys into the Cairngorm mountains of Scotland. There, she encounters a world that can be breathtakingly beautiful at times and shockingl [...]

    10. Where was my epiphany? I am sure it said on the tin that I was due one and I feel rather ripped off.There is no doubt that The Living Mountain is a nice bit of writing and there were moments when I felt transported to the Cairngorms and into Shepherd's inner most musings on nature.This is why I sat for so long on my rating. 3 or 4 star? What should it be? What did it deserve? Does the fact that I want to give it an uninspired 3 star mean that I am somehow less than cerebral and lacking depth of [...]

    11. Beautifully written, when you read a book like this you expect to see photos dotted throughout the book, but this has none, luckily Nan Shepherd does an amazing job describing everything that instantly you can picture the scene down to the smallest details.One thing you take away from this book is just how much Nan loves the Cairngorns she has lived there all her life and I don't blame her. One day I hope to visit this area and walk in her footsteps for a while.

    12. Nan Shepherd loves to be high. If I didn't want to go to Scotland before I'm very keen now to go specifically to Cairngorms National Park. Nothing is overlooked. Everything bears some sort of spiritual punch. A meditation.

    13. A gorgeous lyrical love letter to the Cairngorms, written by a woman that had walked them all her life. Determinedly spiritual and esoteric in tone, it is shot through with a meandering nostalgia at the same time as offering incisive particular details. What I liked most about it was the way it refigures the walker, the mountain-knower as female. She writes of the women of the region, too busy with work and family to get out into the hills, marking herself out as a rare 'lady climber'. Definitel [...]

    14. This is quite simply a perfect piece of literature. It is compelling, magical, mesmerising, and an absolute pleasure to read. Read this because you love nature, or the moutains, or read it simply because it is a brilliant piece of writing. If I had to get rid of most of my books and could only keep a handful, this book would be in that handful - because it is also a text to return to time and again.Once again finding a book by chance in a good bookshop has proven the way to find unexpected gems. [...]

    15. Why not file this beautiful little book under poetry? It is a short enough book but requires slow reading. I sense that it can be read again many times, or dipped into. It does not seem to me a guide book to the Cairngorms or anywhere else so specific, but rather a guide explaining how to go about experiencing any landscape and how to locate yourself within it, as part of it. That is how poems often work - taking the specific as a guide to something universal. "I have discovered my mountain - it [...]

    16. A zen-like journey to one mountain range over decades opens into a meditation on sustained attention. Nerdy naming of every flower and leaf, near-cheesy descriptions of the various sounds a single body of water can make, humorous insights about chatty people on the trail. (Like me, she's anti-chitchat when there is so beauty and life to observe right in front of you.)

    17. Beautifully written nature book about her life with and in and on the Cairngorm mountains in Scotland. But this book is so much more than nature because Nan Shepherd delves into different aspects of it all, like how her (our) senses perceive the mountains, or how people live there. A stunning piece of writing!

    18. A wee gem of a book. Over before you know it though. Nan Shepherd's book on the Cairngorms is wonderfully written in a style that's both forthright and unsentimental while wonderfully descriptive without being flowery. Her descriptions of the Cairngorms, anecdotes of events (largely until the end of WW2, despite being published in 1977, she wrote in the forties - a great shame it was never published then, as we may at least have had a couple more books from her). For a book about mountains, it's [...]

    19. What a beautiful book! Anyone who has any kind of love for the natural world should take an evening to read this (it is a very short book). Most books about mountains are about conquering them, about the summit, about their danger. This is a book that enjoys the mountain for what it is. It does not seek to defeat the mountain. It does not even seek to reach the top. If the summit is achieved it is because enjoyment of the mountain took the author there, not because she set out to get there.One o [...]

    20. A mountain gives itself completely, not when one reaches for the peaks, but when one goes out merely to be with it says Nan Shepherd describing the Cairngorms. The clouds, the water, the frost and snow, air and light, the life including plants, birds, animals, insects and people are all part of the mystery while she walks, sleeps and gives in each one of her senses to the mountain. Spending a season amidst the granite with Nan's prose for company may be one way to experience the joy of smelling [...]

    21. This is a truly amazing book. I am a big fan of the writings of John Muir but this book takes nature writing to a new level. And what's more amazing about it, is that it has inspired me to venture into the living mountains again. It is clear from this book that Nan was at one in her mountain environment, a silent walker in nature and a Bodhisattva of her elemental journey. A fine read and one to celebrate in the memory of a great woman.

    22. A beautifully written gentle little book. While only just over 100 pages long, I found myself reading it slowly in order to savour Nan Shepherd's wonderfully descriptive words. I will keep this book in mind the next time I am hiking up a mountain, so rather than having one mission - to climb to the summit, I will try to use all my senses to actually take in the mountain.

    23. "The greenness of the water varies according to the light, now acquamarine, now verdigris, but it is always pure green, metallic rather than vegetable."I loved Shepherd's careful observation and her sensuously precise prose.

    24. Robert Macfarlane led me to this book, and I can't rate it as highly as he obviously does - requiring multiple readings to get the full depth etc. It was an evocative and tactile take on the environments of the Cairngorms, but a slight volume at that.

    25. Fabulous nature writing that makes the full range of the sense come alive as well as the mountains themselves which are the protagonist. The final three chapters are stunningly beautiful.

    26. I think my reading of this slim volume about the Cairngorms was weighted with expectations from its frequent referencing as a classic of nature writing (Its author featuring on Scottish £5 notes). Another weight is that I neither know the Cairngorms at all well, nor very much like them, all the more with their associations of privileged landowners and wildlife persecution. I quickly realised that slim would not be the same as quick and that the prose would require careful, concentrated, reflect [...]

    27. When I was a young boy my parents went on holidays in the Dolomites in Northern Italy (or South-Tirol as they prefer over there) and we went on countless and sometimes very ambitious mountain walks. This book brought back many memories from these days. The feeling of the mountain under your feet, the way how they are different from each other, the role of water, the sounds, the smells, they all came back to me, though I never slept under the stars. But it made me long for long walks on heights, [...]

    28. Iedereen die de boeken leest van Robert MacFarlane weet van zijn grote bewondering voor Nan Shepherd en kent zijn verwijzingen naar het boek, "The living mountain" - een boek geschreven aan het einde van de tweede wereldoorlog, maar dat pas in de jaren van 70 van de vorige eeuw werd gepubliceerd. In het begin is het een beetje wennen aan het ritme van het boek, maar al snel ben je mee de Cairngorm Mountains op en kijk je met de schrijfster mee. Want dat is eigenlijk wat er gebeurt, de schrijfste [...]

    29. Curiosity level: Breath-taking. You really do feel like you're up in the mountains with her. If you're planning a trip to the mountains, read this book for it will transform the way you view these white-coated rocky beauties. From being "the conquered", Shepherd writes a different perspective: they are but living and breathing countries of their own. They're unconquerable. My biggest gripe is that she uses too many geographical jargon and I kept skidding off the path in order to do some reading [...]

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