Story Line: Exploring the Literature of the Appalachian Trail (Under the Sign of Nature)

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9780813917986: Story Line: Exploring the Literature of the Appalachian Trail (Under the Sign of Nature)

Many hikers on the Appalachian Trail take books as companions, in spite of the extra weight in their packs, but Ian Marshall carries the habit to new literary, ecological, and spiritual heights. In the more than twenty years he's been hiking the trail, Marshall, known on the AT as Evergreen, has practiced what he likes to call "an ecology of reading," exploring America's past, its landscape and national experience, through literature inspired by places in the Appalachian chain: "a literary heritage," he writes, "of interest to scholars and hikers alike, both seekers of a sort."

As he walks the trail from Georgia to Maine, Marshall brings together his own stories, heard and experienced along the trail, with the stories of those who, famous and otherwise, are part of the literary geography of each region―William Bartram, Annie Dillard, Thomas Jefferson, Whitman, Melville, Frost, Hawthorne, and Thoreau. Like notes left behind for other thru-hikers, their writings, seen through Marshall's eyes, plot a fresh "story line" of America's literary and ecological history. As he passes through the Great Smoky Mountains, the Blue Ridge, the Delaware Water Gap, Greylock, the Greens and the Whites, to Ktaadn, Marshall takes us on a vision quest into our national character, from Native American myths through colonial America's economic and theological preoccupations, the aesthetic of Manifest Destiny, to our contemporary ecological awareness. This is book talk taken out of the classroom and onto the trail.

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Review:

The Appalachian Trail's story begins in 1921, when Benton McKaye first suggested creating a long-distance hiking trail to his friend, Harris Whitaker, editor of the influential Journal of the American Institute of Architects. The idea was picked up by several regional hiking clubs who formed a committee with the intention of building a trail from New England to North Carolina; eventually the dream became a reality when a hiking enthusiast named Myron Avery joined the project in 1930. By 1937, America boasted a trail that runs (depending on who you talk to) anywhere between 2,100 and 2,200 miles. Whatever the exact mileage, you'd have to agree that it's a long, long way from Springer Mountain (Georgia) to Mt. Katahdin (Maine); anyone walking the trail, either in parts or in its entirety would have a lot of time on their hands.

And what better way to spend it than to read, suggests Ian Marshall, professor of English, avid hiker, and author of Story Line: Exploring the Literature of the Appalachian Trail. Marshall's pleasures are simple ones: he likes to walk, he likes to read, and he likes to think. In Story Line, he's managed to meld all three into a charming and thought-provoking meditation on both the beauties of nature and the artistic inspiration the wilderness provides. In addition to chronicling his own adventures along the trail over the past two decades, Marshall also discusses the literature that evokes what the trail symbolizes for him. There is Thomas Jefferson's "Notes on the State of Virginia" and Walt Whitman's "Song of the Open Road." Annie Dillard, Henry David Thoreau, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Herman Melville, and more all make welcome appearances in Marshall's narrative, as he seeks to find that point of convergence where wilderness and literature meet to create what he calls "ecocriticism," an "ecology of reading." At the very least, Ian Marshall has reintroduced several great American classics to the reading public's consciousness; and who knows--Story Line might persuade some readers to spend the next sunny day on a hiking trail--preferably with a copy of Hawthorne or Whitman in hand.

About the Author:

Ian Marshall, Professor of English at Penn State Altoona, is author of Peak Experiences:Walking Meditations on Literature, Nature, and Need

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Ian Marshall
Editore: University of Virginia Press, United States (1998)
ISBN 10: 0813917980 ISBN 13: 9780813917986
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Descrizione libro University of Virginia Press, United States, 1998. Paperback. Condizione libro: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Many hikers on the Appalachian Trail take books as companions, in spite of the extra weight in their packs, but Ian Marshall carries the habit to new literary, ecological, and spiritual heights. In the more than twenty years he s been hiking the trail, Marshall, known on the AT as Evergreen, has practiced what he likes to call an ecology of reading, exploring America s past, its landscape and national experience, through literature inspired by places in the Appalachian chain: a literary heritage, he writes, of interest to scholars and hikers alike, both seekers of a sort. As he walks the trail from Georgia to Maine, Marshall brings together his own stories, heard and experienced along the trail, with the stories of those who, famous and otherwise, are part of the literary geography of each region--William Bartram, Annie Dillard, Thomas Jefferson, Whitman, Melville, Frost, Hawthorne, and Thoreau. Like notes left behind for other thru-hikers, their writings, seen through Marshall s eyes, plot a fresh story line of America s literary and ecological history. As he passes through the Great Smoky Mountains, the Blue Ridge, the Delaware Water Gap, Greylock, the Greens and the Whites, to Ktaadn, Marshall takes us on a vision quest into our national character, from Native American myths through colonial America s economic and theological preoccupations, the aesthetic of Manifest Destiny, to our contemporary ecological awareness. This is book talk taken out of the classroom and onto the trail. Codice libro della libreria AAN9780813917986

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Ian Marshall
Editore: University of Virginia Press, United States (1998)
ISBN 10: 0813917980 ISBN 13: 9780813917986
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Descrizione libro University of Virginia Press, United States, 1998. Paperback. Condizione libro: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Many hikers on the Appalachian Trail take books as companions, in spite of the extra weight in their packs, but Ian Marshall carries the habit to new literary, ecological, and spiritual heights. In the more than twenty years he s been hiking the trail, Marshall, known on the AT as Evergreen, has practiced what he likes to call an ecology of reading, exploring America s past, its landscape and national experience, through literature inspired by places in the Appalachian chain: a literary heritage, he writes, of interest to scholars and hikers alike, both seekers of a sort. As he walks the trail from Georgia to Maine, Marshall brings together his own stories, heard and experienced along the trail, with the stories of those who, famous and otherwise, are part of the literary geography of each region--William Bartram, Annie Dillard, Thomas Jefferson, Whitman, Melville, Frost, Hawthorne, and Thoreau. Like notes left behind for other thru-hikers, their writings, seen through Marshall s eyes, plot a fresh story line of America s literary and ecological history. As he passes through the Great Smoky Mountains, the Blue Ridge, the Delaware Water Gap, Greylock, the Greens and the Whites, to Ktaadn, Marshall takes us on a vision quest into our national character, from Native American myths through colonial America s economic and theological preoccupations, the aesthetic of Manifest Destiny, to our contemporary ecological awareness. This is book talk taken out of the classroom and onto the trail. Codice libro della libreria AAN9780813917986

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Descrizione libro University of Virginia Press 4/29/1998, 1998. Paperback or Softback. Condizione libro: New. Story Line: Exploring the Literature of the Appalachian Trail. Book. Codice libro della libreria BBS-9780813917986

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