By Laurie Olin
"Twenty-eight years in the past I went to England for a three-month stopover at and leisure. What i discovered replaced my life."
So starts off this memoir through considered one of America's best-known panorama architects, Laurie Olin. Raised in a frontier city in Alaska, informed in Seattle and manhattan, Olin chanced on himself disappointed together with his activity as an city architect and authorized a call for participation to England to take a respite from paintings. What he stumbled on, in abundance, used to be the serendipity of a human setting outfitted over the years to answer the land's personal personality and to the folks who lived and labored there. For Olin, the English geographical region was once a palimpsest of the main eloquent and relocating kind, but whose manifestation used to be of standard structures intended to guard their population and additional their work.
With evocative language and beautiful line drawings, the writer takes us again to his advent to the scenes of English nation cities, their historical universities, meandering waterways, and dramatic cloudscapes racing in from the Atlantic. He limns the geologic histories chanced on in the rock, the near-forgotten histories of place-names, and the hot histories of educate strains and car routes. evaluating the expansion of establishing within the English geographical region, Olin attracts a few sobering conclusions approximately our glossy way of life and its expanding separation from the landscape.
As a lot a plea for saving the trendy American panorama because it is a passionate exploration of what makes the English panorama so traditionally English, Across the Open Field is "an affectionate ramble via actual locations of lasting worth."
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Additional resources for Across the open field : essays drawn from English landscapes
As soon as I was ensconced in this peaceful farming scene and had caught up on my sleep, I began to notice and truly miss the remarkable, great, and wonderful- even beautiful- things about cities. Simultaneously, I was delighted to be rid of the irritating, loathsome, and sometimes deadening or frightening aspects of modern urban life. The contrast was made all the more vivid by juxtaposing London, Dr. Johnson's "Great Wen"- my newly discovered "Great City of the World" in all of its bustling, sprawling fascination - with this sleepy little Berkshire village.
When he answered "Witney;' another boy laughed, and with the arrogant air of a child who knows something another doesn't, pronounced, "Witney's not a city, it's a town. Cities have got buildings in and cathedrals. Towns are like that, only smaller. And this, this is just a village:' Another of the boys went on to explain to the others the finer points of ecclesiastical hierarchy that accompanied this historic truth. I was amazed to hear such succinct and accurate statements that were almost medieval in their derivation.
All you can do, now, is tend to go back over something. Nineteenth-century gardening does this just as in architecture. There are all the revivals - not just one revival - one man can work in several revivals. With gardens one can do the same thing. It means that there's a change in where you go for further exploration. In architecture the modern movement developed. I don't know where the garden can go. I find this statement as foolish and irritating now as I did then. There are serious problems with the notions of style as they have been sloppily applied to landscape and garden design.