MacFarlane, Robert “The Old Ways” (Viking 2012)

‘A mountain has an inside,’ Shepherd has written. It is a superbly counter-intuitive proposition, for we customarily imagine mountains in terms of their external surfaces and outward-facing forms: cliffs, plateaus, pinnacles, ridges and scarps. But mountains are also defined by their interiors: their corries, caves, hollows, and valleys, and by the depths of their rivers, lochs and lochans. Once our eyes have learnt to see that mountains are composed of absent space as well as massy presence, then we might also come to imagine walking not ‘up’ a mountain but ‘into’ a mountain (201).


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