Mountain writing typically fits one of two categories. It describes challenge and derring do, or romantic extrapolation. Climbing books depict the former and Wordsworth exemplifies the latter. I get tired of both and instead reach for novels, which offer a more fluid and rich literary experience. Is it a weak and futile project to write about mountains; why not just photograph them as the best portrayal we have and accept that even images fall short. I think words and images can evoke, entertain and inspire, but as mere representation they get tedious after a while. The poet William Carlos Williams advocated a pared down and unadorned style which possibly suits the hills best. Cut the crap, so to speak, rather let things speak for themselves. We can add emotion as we wish but we don’t want to read the emotion of others, like watching soap opera television.

 

Lake District Photography: Kentmere

Tuesday December 18, 2012