Robert MacFarlane “The Wild Places” (Penguin 2008)

I thought about the historical shadows that had fallen across my journeys, up in the cleared glens of Scotland and now here in the Burren. I had expected to find evidence of contemporary damage, contemporary menace, but I had not thought to encounter these older darknesses. I had passed through lands that were saturated with invisible people, with lives lived and lost, deaths happy and unhappy, and the spectral business of these wild places had become less and less ignorable. My idea of wildness as something inhuman, outside history, had come to seem nonsensical, even irresponsible (176).


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