Giving form to thought

Old WaysDeep into Robert MacFarlane’s The Old Ways at the moment, and I came across this passage where he is talking about the writer Anna ‘Nan’ Shepherd and her book about the Cairngorm Mountains in Scotland: “…the power of the HIghland landscape to draw people into intimacy with it, and [she] showed how particular places might make possible particular thoughts.” This connection between a place and the ideas that it ferments brought me back to my Goodbye Portland post, and how perhaps the isle and the idea of the pseudomorph are somehow entwined. It has also started me thinking about what associations there might be between The Verne prison on Portland and its location, at the highest point of the isle. MacFarlane continues: “…landscape has long offered us keen ways of figuring ourselves to ourselves, strong means of shaping memories and giving form to thought.”

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