“Aesthetic experience of nature, he argues, involves immersion rather than detachment. Where a piece of art is framed, nature is frameless and offers more scope for the individual imagination because it has not been deliberately created.” – Ronald Hepburn
The garden-park at Stourhead is said to be one of the most exquisitely engineered parks, according to the author. This intrigued me so I looked up a picture and here it is.
I enjoyed learning about cultural primitivism in chapter 7. The idea of cultural primitivism is that happiness is greatest when you are nearest to nature. Arthur Lovejoy and George Boas described it as “the discontent of the civilized with civilization.” I am absolutely in love with this quote because it perfectly describes some of my own thoughts. I would like to someday take part in primitivism, although I think it would be very difficult after taking advantage of the environment and technology throughout the entirety of my life.
Edmund Burke, philosopher and politician, compared society to an ancient tree of complex growth, “the repository of wisdom with which people should not tamper.” I completely agree with this notion; society is not something that should be tampered with, we should simply let it run its course. Although there are quite a few things that have changed since his time that I would not judge someone for tampering with. However, these things are usually the result of the unintelligent tampering of society in the first place.
“Thus at every step we are reminded that we by no means rule over nature like a conqueor over a foreign people, like someone standing outside nature – but that we, with flesh, blood, and brain, belong to nature, and exist in its midst” – Engels
I found it interesting that Richard Walther Darre, Minister of Agriculture and Peasant Leader between 1933 and 1942, believed that the first Germans were Nordics and that Christianity should be overthrown and old Norse gods like Thor reinstated. Nordic thought, which had ideologies of racial supremacy, had a major influence on Nazism.
Overall, there were a few points in this book that caught my interest, but I was very bored with the constant brief mention of facts. This book made me want to learn more about certain topics that were only momentarily discussed. In that sense, I very much enjoyed this book. However, would I ever want to read this book again? Absolutely not.