Audio: A Sense of Place

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BBC’s Andrew Marr, talks to Philip Marsden, author of the book Rising Ground, an exploration of Cornwall, Scottish artist Victoria Crowe who has a longstanding connection with the Pentland Hills, Joanne Parker lecturer and author of Britannia Obscura – Mapping Hidden Britain and Ian Bostridge singer and author of Schubert’s Winter Journey.

Taking in ley lines, Tintagel, Scottish landscapes, Germany and Schubert, Andrew Marr and his guests draw on books, painting and music to talk about place, landscape, the sublime and how we create personal maps based on our experience and the places that have meaning to us.

The discussion about the difference between place and space and how landscape can be interpreted reminded me a bit of the chapter A Journey across Names and Ages, in Cees Nooteboom’s Roads to Santiago.  

Thinking about landscape as somewhere that has been worked and lived in, it can take on meaning and become a place with human history rather than being mere space.   In the same way, Nooteboom reminds us that, however off the beaten track we might be, others are likely to have been there and have deliberately created names for regions, mountains, towns.  We are, therefore, “always in words”; we are “never in a place that is nameless” but always find ourselves “in some word invented by others.”

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