Elegantly fashioned, intimate thoughts on what the wilderness means to her, from Campbell (English/Colorado State Univ.)....



Elegantly fashioned, intimate thoughts on what the wilderness means to her, from Campbell (English/Colorado State Univ.). ""The desire for wilderness is an elemental force, like gravity, like magnetism,"" she says. As Campbell sees it, this desire for wilderness is piqued by our separation from it, by loss of the wilds to development and exploitation. When the urge moves her, which seems to be quite often, she heads for the far back 40, mostly in her home state of Colorado, but also all about this country and to distant lands--China, Kenya, Dominica--journeys that have prompted these delicate essays, quick and bright and attentive, selected pens‚es ranging over all manner of topic: Does her obsession with food planning signal a desire to enchant her equipment, to ""cast a benevolent spell that will make it serve us silently and well""? Just what does the pristine represent? ""What draws us so insistently to the vision of a world without ourselves?"" Could it be because of what we have done to that dream? she asks suggestively. Her focus is tremendous, be it in reading the language of the land in trailless areas or pressing wildflowers between the pages of a book, feeling the misery in her knees on a long descent into the Grand Canyon or fear inch up her spine when hiking through grizzly country. One of the reasons why she is so attentive is that she is a dawdler, a moseyer who stops to smell the roses. Then, capturing her experiences in words, moving from physical to emotional landscapes, she gets readers right under her skin: You shiver with the same delight she feels over a field of wildflowers, the brief sighting of a bobcat loping away. ""Wild beauty, dazzling."" Campbell conveys that magic in words that have very much those qualities.

Pub Date: Oct. 22, 1996


Page Count: 120

Publisher: Univ. of Arizona

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 1996