Eco-Geography: What we See when we look at Landscapes
By Andreas Suchantke
Translation and Introduction by Norman Skillen
Renewal in Science Series, Lindisfarne Books, 2001
250 pages; paperback; $18.95
Suchantke’s beautiful descriptions and illustrations alone are delightful, but his real interest is a new way of seeing the physical landscape. His approach is based on precise observation, which is not then just analyzed reductively but recreated in an act of imagination. Nature is then experienced as a form of meaning, a language. Suchantke explains how the quality of our relationship to nature is determined by how well we understand this language. The practical use of imagination is thus an ecological activity.
"If Andreas Suchantke is right . . . this lays a great responsibility on us. It means we have the freedom to develop the sensibilities that meet the needs of the planet—or not. Here we see the full significance of the ecology of imagination. If there is ever to be a viable organism encompassing the polarity of nature and culture, then imagination will have the role of mediator. Andreas Suchantke, as this book bears witness, is someone we might emulate on this score."
—Norman Skillen, from the Introduction
Suchantke’s essay “Juvenilization in Evolution and Its Ecological Significance” (Chapter 5) throws a new light on evolution; the emerging picture is breathtaking, exhilarating!
Introduction by Norman Skillen
1. Ngorongoro: Primeval Past as Living Present
2. Africa: Three Landscapes as a Single Organism
3. What Do Rainforests Have to Do with Us?
4. Humankind and Nature in Different Cultures and ContinentsJ
5. Juvenilization in Evolution and Its Ecological Significance
6. New Zealand: Old Land, Young Land
7. The Signature of the Great Rift Valleys