Monday, July 18, 2011

it all comes from somewhere

"The romantic movement gave the forests a new meaning for some people, and this admiration for what had once been rejected was bolstered by yet another change of attitude, which can best be called the ‘patriotic’. After the War of Independence the question was continually asked, ‘What was it in this new country that was distinctively American?’ The continent, with its short history and ill-formed traditions, could not produce anything like the rich cultural heritage and the antiquities of Europe. One thing that America had, however, was vast areas of untouched land – forest, prairie, and mountain – and these seemingly unending wild areas were perceived by nineteenth-century naturalists, poets, writers and artists as something uniquely American and something about which to be proud. Chateaubriand touched upon this feeling when he said, ‘There is nothing old in America excepting the woods…they are certainly the equivalent for monuments and ancestors’."

From Americans and Their Forests: A Historical Geography, By Michael Williams. 1989.

1 comment:

  1. Wow, that must have been really cool. What happened?