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Arne Hennemann

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Distance and Memory
Distance and Memory
by Peter Davidson
Edition: Paperback
Price: £13.46

5.0 out of 5 stars the now of place, 5 Feb. 2014
This review is from: Distance and Memory (Paperback)
Hard to say how davidson achieves this effect: once you enter his realm in rural aberdeenshire it seems as if all that matters is the present tenseness of place, the now of where he takes us. A wonderful and exeptional book. Travelling through his year is not about passing through time but rooting around in a habitat of light and personal visions. An individual look at Scotland. But what a wonderful perspective of history, arts and landscape. If only there was more like this around.

At the Loch of the Green Corrie
At the Loch of the Green Corrie
by Andrew Greig
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.19

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars hard to get rid off, 25 Oct. 2012
I stumbled upon the "Loch of the Green Corrie" while browsing for books on Assynt in preparing a motorcycle tour to the north-west of Scotland. How little did I know what awaited me once I had embarked on getting into Greig's narrative. Along the flight of stairs up to the poet's apartment; into the past of Assynt summers; out and about in the great openness of the Assynt hills the attention followed Greig's writing and took with it a considerable part of my own personal reflections: is there indeed - and if so who - a person that has similarly exercised tutorship for ourselves as the poet did for Greig? What a revelation to find that there does indeed exist someone like that. And what about the three friends fishing up north? How many close associates do we have to venture out with us thus unconditionally reflective? It felt reassuring to realize that there are people indeed who would be ready to do so. And yet the doubts, the understanding and acceptance of past as bridging to future without losing trail were sometimes painful to read - but so very much to the point. As is McCaig's poetry itself: one moment we see clearly and yet we don't. That probably is the most reassuring revelation of the book itself: without great fuss, plain simple but wonderfully encoded Greig shows through the fishing bet and the inner as well as the physical voyages that memory, present and future plans are nothing but the vital substance that cares for every need - life as a single frame, whatever the language or the code we use for the moment to describe it.

Taking Leave
Taking Leave
by Hubank Roger
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.48

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Taking Leave, 15 Feb. 2012
This review is from: Taking Leave (Paperback)
Taking Leave, by Roger Hubank

At points the inability to express, to speak out the unthinkable makes itself felt in the very words Roger Hubank has used to portray Anthony Hardman. Estranged from his wife, bitter to the core about his job at university he retreats to Moor House, a solitary building sitting high up in a side valley of the Peak District. Here he tries to come to terms with what at the beginning seems to be nothing else than yet another middle-aged existence feeling the urge of crisis. And yet, the vision of the aging climber, remembering youthful forays into the hills with nothing to burden the playful mind, roaming the gritstone edges of Derbyshire feels utterly authentic from a reader's point of view. Hardman's outlook on life is bitter indeed, as is the intercourse between him and his wife Liz. But instead of presenting the protagonist as simply day hunting dreams that should have been lived years ago, we see Hardman plunging into realities of life around him in his country retreat that are far more complex than a climbing route would ever be. He steadily immerses himself in his rural habitat and the less he thinks about all the routes not done, about all the choices of life having let gone unseized, the more the reader gains entry into who Anthony Hardman really is. Hubank has managed well to sketch his characters displaying personal involvement in what has shaped - and indeed is still shaping their lives. So we see them bearing and breaking under traumatisingly honest hardships of real life as well as finally conceding that all a human being can do in the light of real tragedy is to go with the flow, wherever that may wash up. Whether it is meanwhile possible to rescue at least some shreds of what Hardman believed to be constituent for his own life remains to be found out until almost the very end. Therefore Taking Leave is by far more than a novel based on a climbing background. Calling it an attempt to grasp and describe the fleeting moment in which life's turns decide over whole biographies seems more appropriate. And in trying to write about this, Hubank has been very successful, even if it feels difficult at times to understand Anthony Hardman. However, for those who do not seek simple answers or clichés Taking Leave is certainly recommended.

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