Vast, titanic, inhuman Nature has got him at disadvantage, caught him alone, and pilfers him of some of his divine faculty. She does not smile on him as in the plains. She seems to say sternly, why came ye here before your time? This ground is not prepared for you. Is it not enough that I smile in the valleys? I have never made this soil for thy feet, this air for thy breathing, these rocks for thy neighbors.
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As if a voice were in them, the sick sight And giddy prospect of the raving stream, The unfettered clouds and region of the heavens, tumult and peace, the darkness and the light Were all like workings of one mind, the features Of the same. ( 14 ) This was no casual stroll in the mountains, no simple sojourn in the gentle lap of nonhuman nature. What Wordsworth described was nothing less than a religious experience, akin to that of the Old Testament prophets as they conversed with their wrathful God. The symbols he detected in this wilderness landscape were more supernatural than natural, and they inspired more awe and dismay than joy or pleasure. No mere mortal was meant to linger long in such a place, so it resume was with considerable relief that Wordsworth and his companion made their way back down from the peaks to the sheltering valleys. Lest you suspect that this view of the sublime was limited to timid Europeans who lacked the American know-how for feeling at home in the wilderness, remember Henry david Thoreaus 1846 climb of mount Katahdin, in maine. Although Thoreau is regarded by many today as one of the great American celebrators of wilderness, his emotions about Katahdin were no less ambivalent than Wordsworths about the Alps. It was vast, titanic, and such as man never inhabits. Some part of the beholder, even some vital part, seems to escape through the loose grating of his ribs as he ascends. He is more lone than you can imagine.
The eighteenth century catalog of their locations feels very familiar, for we still see and value landscapes as it taught us. God paper was on the mountaintop, in the chasm, in the waterfall, in the thundercloud, in the rainbow, in the sunset. One has only to think of the sites that Americans chose for their first national parks—Yellowstone, yosemite, grand Canyon, rainier, zion—to realize that virtually all of them fit one or more of these categories. Less sublime landscapes simply did not appear worthy of such protection; not until the 1940s, for instance, would the first swamp be honored, in everglades National Park, and to this day there is no national park in the grasslands. ( 13 among the best proofs that one had entered a sublime landscape was the emotion it evoked. For the early romantic writers and artists who first began to celebrate it, the sublime was far from being a pleasurable experience. The classic description is that of William Wordsworth as he recounted climbing the Alps and crossing the simplon Pass in his autobiographical poem The Prelude. There, surrounded by crags and waterfalls, the poet felt himself literally to be in the presence of the divine—and experienced an emotion remarkably close to terror: The immeasurable height, of woods decaying, never to be decayed, The stationary blasts of waterfalls, And in the narrow. Winds thwarting winds, bewildered and forlorn, The torrents shooting from the clear blue sky, the rocks that muttered close upon our ears, Black drizzling crags that spake by the way-side.
In the wilderness the boundaries between human and nonhuman, between natural and supernatural, had always seemed less certain than elsewhere. This was why the early Christian saints and mystics had often emulated Christs desert retreat as they sought to experience for themselves the visions and spiritual testing he had endured. One might meet devils and run the risk of losing ones soul in such a place, but one might also meet God. For some that possibility was worth almost any price. By the eighteenth century this sense of the wilderness as a landscape where the supernatural lay just beneath the surface was expressed in the doctrine of the sublime, a word whose modern usage has been so watered down by commercial hype and tourist advertising that. ( 11 ) In the theories of Edmund Burke, immanuel Kant, william Gilpin, and others, sublime landscapes were those first rare places on earth where one had more chance than elsewhere to glimpse the face of God. ( 12 ) Romantics had a clear notion of where one could be most sure of having this experience. Although God might, of course, choose to show Himself anywhere, he would most often be found in those vast, powerful landscapes where one could not help feeling insignificant and being reminded of ones own mortality. Where were these sublime places?
The two converged to remake wilderness in their own image, freighting it with moral values and cultural symbols that it carries to this day. Indeed, it is not too much to say that the modern environmental movement is itself a grandchild of romanticism and post-frontier ideology, which is why it is no accident that so much environmentalist discourse takes its bearings from the wilderness these intellectual movements helped create. Although wilderness may today seem to be just one environmental concern among many, it in fact serves as the foundation for a long list of other such concerns that on their face seem quite remote from. That is why its influence is so pervasive and, potentially, so insidious. To gain such remarkable influence, the concept of wilderness had to become loaded with some of the deepest core values of the culture that created and idealized it: it had to become sacred. This possibility had been present in wilderness even in the days when it had been a place of spiritual danger and moral temptation. If Satan was there, then so was Christ, who had found angels as well as wild beasts during His sojourn in the desert.
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Niagara falls was the summary first to undergo this transformation, but it was soon followed by the catskills, the Adirondacks, yosemite, yellowstone, and others. Yosemite was deeded by the. Government to the state of California in 1864 as the nations first wildland park, and Yellowstone became the first true national park in 1872. ( 9 by the first decade of the twentieth century, in the single most famous episode in American conservation history, a national debate had exploded over whether the city of San Francisco should be permitted to augment its water supply by damming the tuolumne river. The dam was eventually built, but what today seems no less significant is that so many people fought to prevent its completion. Even as the fight was being lost, hetch Hetchy became the baffle cry of an emerging movement to preserve wilderness. Fifty years earlier, such opposition would have been unthinkable.
Few would have questioned the merits of reclaiming a wasteland like this in order to put it to human use. Now the defenders of Hetch Hetchy attracted widespread national attention by portraying such an act not as improvement or progress but as desecration and vandalism. Lest one doubt that the old biblical metaphors had been turned completely on their heads, listen to john muir attack the dams defenders. Their arguments, he wrote, are curiously like those of the devil, devised for the destruction of the first garden—so much of the very best Eden fruit going to waste; so much of the best tuolumne water and tuolumne scenery going to waste. ( 10 ) For muir and the growing number of Americans who shared his views, satans home had become gods Own Temple. The sources of this rather astonishing transformation were many, but for the purposes of this essay they can be gathered under two broad headings: the sublime and the frontier. Of the two, the sublime is the older and more pervasive cultural construct, being one of the most important expressions of that broad transatlantic movement we today label as romanticism; the frontier is more peculiarly American, though it too had its European antecedents and parallels.
( 4 ) The wilderness was where Christ had struggled with the devil and endured his temptations: And immediately the Spirit driveth him into the wilderness. And he was there in the wilderness for forty days tempted of Satan; and was with the wild beasts; and the angels ministered unto him. ( 5 ) The delicious Paradise of John Miltons Eden was surrounded by a steep wilderness, whose hairy sides /Access denied to all who sought entry. When Adam and eve were driven from that garden, the world they entered was a wilderness that only their labor and pain could redeem. Wilderness, in short, was a place to which one came only against ones will, and always in fear and trembling.
Whatever value it might have arose solely from the possibility that it might be reclaimed and turned toward human ends—planted as a garden, say, or a city upon a hill. ( 7 ) In its raw state, it had little or nothing to offer civilized men and women. But by the end of the nineteenth century, all this had changed. The wastelands that had once seemed worthless had for some people come to seem almost beyond price. That Thoreau in 1862 could declare wildness to be the preservation of the world suggests the sea change that was going. Wilderness had once been the antithesis of all that was orderly and good—it had been the darkness, one might say, on the far side of the garden wall—and yet now it was frequently likened to Eden itself. When John muir arrived in the sierra nevada in 1869, he would declare, no description of heaven that I have ever heard or read of seems half so fine. ( 8 ) he was hardly alone in expressing such emotions. One by one, various corners of the American map came to be designated as sites whose wild beauty was so spectacular that a growing number of citizens had to visit and see them for themselves.
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And yet: what brought each of us to diary the places where such memories became possible is entirely a cultural invention. Go back 250 years in American and European history, and you do not find nearly so many people wandering around remote corners of the planet looking for what today we would call the wilderness experience. As late as the eighteenth century, the most common usage of the word wilderness in the English language referred to landscapes that generally carried adjectives far different from the ones they attract today. To be a wilderness then was to be deserted, savage, desolate, barren—in short, a waste, the words nearest synonym. Its connotations were anything but positive, and the emotion one was most likely to feel in its presence was bewilderment or terror. ( 2 many of the words strongest associations then were biblical, for it is used over and over again in the king James Version to refer to places on the margins of civilization where it is all too easy to lose oneself in moral confusion. The wilderness was where moses had wandered with his people for forty years, and where they had nearly abandoned their God to worship a golden idol. ( 3 ) For Pharaoh will say of the Children of Israel, we read in Exodus, They are entangled in the land, the wilderness hath shut them.
I celebrate with others who love wilderness the beauty and power of the things it contains. Each of us who has spent time there can conjure images and sensations that seem all the more hauntingly real for having engraved themselves so indelibly on our memories. Such memories may be uniquely our own, but they are also familiar enough be to be instantly recognizable to others. The torrents of mist shoot out from the base of a great waterfall in the depths of a sierra canyon, the tiny droplets cooling your face as you listen to the roar of the water and gaze up toward the sky through a rainbow that. Remember this too: looking out across a desert canyon in the evening air, the only sound a lone raven calling in the distance, the rock walls dropping away into a chasm so deep that its bottom all but vanishes as you squint into the amber. And this: the moment beside the trail as you sit on a sandstone ledge, your boots damp with the morning dew while you take in the rich smell of the pines, and the small red fox—or maybe for you it was a raccoon. Remember the feelings of such moments, and you will know as well as I do that you were in the presence of something irreducibly nonhuman, something profoundly Other than yourself Wilderness is made of that too.fund
quite profoundly a human creation—indeed, the creation of very particular human cultures at very particular moments in human history. It is not a pristine sanctuary where the last remnant of an untouched, endangered, but still transcendent nature can for at least a little while longer be encountered without the contaminating taint of civilization. Instead, its a product of that civilization, and could hardly be contaminated by the very stuff of which it is made. Wilderness hides its unnaturalness behind a mask that is all the more beguiling because it seems so natural. As we gaze into the mirror it holds up for us, we too easily imagine that what we behold is Nature when in fact we see the reflection of our own unexamined longings and desires. For this reason, we mistake ourselves when we suppose that wilderness can be the solution to our cultures problematic relationships with the nonhuman world, for wilderness is itself no small part of the problem. To assert the unnaturalness of so natural a place will no doubt seem absurd or even perverse to many readers, so let me hasten to add that the nonhuman world we encounter in wilderness is far from being merely our own invention.
By william Cronon, print-formatted version: pdf, in William Cronon,., Uncommon Ground: Rethinking the human Place in Nature, new York:. Norton., 1995, 69-90. The time has come to rethink wilderness. This will seem a heretical claim to many environmentalists, since the idea of wilderness has for decades been a fundamental tenet—indeed, a passion—of the environmental movement, especially in the United States. For many Americans wilderness stands as the last remaining place where civilization, that all too human disease, has not fully infected the earth. It is an island in the polluted sea of urban-industrial modernity, the one place we can presentation turn for escape from our own too-muchness. Seen in this way, wilderness presents itself as the best antidote to our human selves, a refuge we must somehow recover if we hope to save the planet. As Henry david Thoreau once famously declared, In Wildness is the preservation of the world.
William Cronon - the Trouble with Wilderness; or, getting
On commence à courir pour différentes raisons: réaliser un rêve, améliorer sa condition physique, participer à une course, essayer quelque chose de nouveau, accompagner un ami, year se fixer un défi un peu fou ou encore pour bien dautres raisons mais un jour, on sy met! Et très vite on y prend goût Et parfois même, on ne peut plus sen passer. Du jogging au running, les passionnés de course à pied peuvent aujourdhui trouver leur bonheur. Certains voient le running comme un sport et dautres comme un mode de vie ou encore comme une façon daborder une période de changement. Peu import votre motif, votre vitesse ou votre endurance, très rapidement vous expérimentez les bienfaits physiques, émotionnels et mentaux liés à la pratique de la course à pied (la runAttitude). Souvent, on court parce quon aime socialiser et faire partie dune communauté. Grâce aux clubs de course et aux groupes dentraînement vous aurez lopportunité de vous entraîner et de rencontrer dautres amateurs de running.