Monday, May 28, 2012

River tangle

"Every landscape appears first of all as a vast chaos, which leaves one free to choose the meaning one wants to give it. But over and above agricultural considerations, geographical irregularities and the various accidents of history and prehistory, the most majestic meaning of all is surely that which precedes, commands and, to a large extent, explains the others. A pale blurred line, or an often almost imperceptible difference in the shape and consistency of rock fragments, are evidence of the fact that two oceans once succeeded each other where, today, I can see nothing but barren soil. As I follow the traces of their age-old stagnation despite all obstacles - sheer cliff faces, landslides, scrub or cultivated land - and disregarding paths and fences, I seem to be proceeding in meaningless fashion. But the sole aim of this contrariness is to recapture the master-meaning, which may be obscure but of which each of the others is a partial or distorted transposition."
- from Claude Lévi-Strauss, Tristes Tropiques

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