Place Quotes

A handout from the International Literacy Day conversation.


“Nature is not a place to visit. It is home.” – Gary Snyder

“I hate scenery.” – Denis Devlin

“Landscapes are culture before they are nature; constructs of the imagination projected onto wood and water and rock.” – Simon Schama in Landscape and Memory 

“The sudden change of ambiance in a street within the space of a few meters; the evident division of a city into zones of distinct psychic atmospheres; the path of least resistance which is automatically followed in aimless strolls (and which has no relation to the physical contour of the ground); the appealing or repelling character of certain places–all this seems to be neglected.” Guy Debord, Introduction to a Critique of Urban Geography.

Following the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945, James Joyce wrote to the philosopher Bertrand Russell that had Dublin been destroyed by an atom bomb, “it would be possible to rebuild the entire city, brick by brick, using Ulysses. Though God alone knows why anyone would want to. The place is a shithole.”

“If you don’t know where you’re from, you’ll have a hard time saying where you’re going.”  – Wendell Berry

Don’t be descriptive; remember that the painter can describe a landscape much better than you can, and that he has to know a deal more about it.

When Shakespeare talks of the ‘Dawn in russet mantle clad’ he presents something which the painter does not present. There is in this line of his nothing that one can call description; he presents. – Ezra Pound

He (the Dalai Lama) asked me for my participation and I rejected the plan to make a kind of sculpture there in this old way, to make in a kind of special place this special modern sculpture. I told him that my idea would be this time to plant seven thousand oaks in Kassel, seven thousand trees. And to mark every tree with a little stone, so that everybody after three, two, five or six hundred years can still see that in 1982 there was an activity. After the radical destruction of the forests here in Germany for all this technological nonsense, that there was an impulse that came in the same time, to plant seven thousand oaks. This is such a kind of activity during the Documenta (in Kassel) , that has to do with the ‘Documenta’, but is a real other thing in the conventional understanding of art. – Joseph Beuys

Gavin Prior – Babbleon Cork:


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