Monday, March 15, 2010

Nature Writing

I wanted to tell you a little bit more about that amazing sea of lava in Lanzarote - the tumultuous impression of jaggedness you experience as you survey its massive extent; that chaos of lava rocks straining towards the sea. I would have added something more perhaps about the variety of colours highlighted on the volcanoes' flanks, as cloud shadows scudded/glided/slid/oozed over their surfaces. But it just won't do.
I read a piece by Andrew Greig in the Scottish Review of Books last weekend in which he observes that : "In the attempt to get across the immediacy and power of one’s experience, Nature Writing too often leads to this over-emphatic, over-adjectival, overly figurative striving." He's right.

5 comments:

Rosie said...

the photo is good enough - who needs adjectives anyway!

Mim said...

I don't mind adjectives as long as the writing is good.

This must have been a lovely vacation!

Jonathan Wonham said...

Nice photo. It explains why geologists need precise colour charts in order to describe what they have seen.

nmj said...

I find physical landscape almost impossible to describe well...

I see you have put a fence up! :)

Lucy said...

Yes, this thing about avoiding adjectives. I have been trying but then I find I'm cheating and just turning them into abstract nouns instead, not sure that's the point...

Indeed, the photos are great anyway.