Edward Abbey was an outdoors and wilderness advocate. In Desert Solitaire, possibly his most notable book, he says the following: “Personal liberty is a rare and precious thing…all societies tend toward the absolute until attack from without or collapse from within breaks up the social machine and makes freedom and innovation again possible…the value of wilderness (is) a base for resistance” (149). The trouble with this is what “resistance” means and what coherence it does or does not have. The term is vague and resentful, like surly adolescence. But I certainly think we need some collapse of the “social machine” with its corruption, exploitation, and industrialisation of the human spirit. The point is, hills allow an escape from nonsense. I’m not sure they “resist” it.

 

Lake District Photography: Kentmere Views

Monday December 24, 2012