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Even Mountains Vanish: Searching for Solace in an Age of Extinctionby Sueellen Campbell
Synopses & Reviews
"The Earth is old. Nothing lasts. All life is kin. Different eyes perceive different worlds, and much remains hidden. Ours is an age of extinctions; ours are the hands of the destroyers. Grief and beauty are knotted together. Curiosity and imagination are fundamental human forces. So are fear and hatred, passion and compassion. None of this is surprising.... But scale matters. At this high level of generality, everything seems obvious. When I focus on smaller things, the picture changes."
—from the book
Sitting on a mesa above the Rio Grande, her back pressed against the remnants of eons-old volcanic eruptions and her thoughts drawn to the unavoidable significance of the laboratories at Los Alamos a few miles away, an idea plants itself in SueEllen Campbell’s mind. Brought to fruition, the idea becomes a journey to find the seam where past and present, geology and history, Yellow-bellied Marmots and White-tailed Ptarmigans meet and join to create the world in which we find ourselves.
With elegant, urgent prose, Campbell attempts to make sense of a planet shaped 13.4 billion years ago by awesome natural cataclysm and now threatened with destruction by environmental cataclysms of human origins. Spurred by curiosity, despair, and an analytical mind, she wanders from Colorado to New Mexico to Canada’s arctic coast investigating not only facts and data, but also the mystery that lies below the surface.
Book News Annotation:
Contrasting the beauty of the natural world with the human propensity to destroy it, Campbell (English, Colorado State U.) journeys through reflections on literature, science, nature, spirituality as she recounts her explorations of nature in a time of extinction. She discusses her observations of crane behavior, trips to the arctic tundra, and an array of other diverse explorations, physical and metaphorical.
Annotation ©2004 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
Campbell's elegant attempt to make sense of our planet--originally shaped by natural cataclysm and now threatened with destruction by environmental cataclysms of human origin.
Includes bibliographical references (p. 133-138).
About the Author
SueEllen Campbell is professor of English at Colorado State University and the author of Bringing the Mountain Home.
Table of Contents
The voice of the crane — The edge of winter — String games — The world is a nest.
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