Sunday, 20 January 2019

'If you get the slightest chance to use a holiday to follow a passion, an odd curiosity, a book or a story, then you’re the luckiest person alive!'

“I do not wish women to have power over men, but over themselves.”  | Mary Wollstonecraft

From Betty Friedan and Germaine Greer in the 1970s, let’s do a time travel of sorts, back in time to the 1790s, to have a glimpse into the life and works of Mary Wollstonecraft, mother of Mary Shelley!

This, her much popular seminal nonfiction text titled, A Vindication of the Rights of Women (1791), argues for the equality of women – and their right to education as much as men do!

Although there were bouquets galore for her text, there were brickbats as well! Walpole even went to the extent of calling her ‘a hyena in petticoats’! Yet in spite of these stinging remarks, she has rightly established herself as the godmother of modern feminism!

Interestingly, it was in the very same year that Thomas Paine had also published his book titled, Rights of Man (1791), in which he argues that popular political revolution is permissible if the ruling establishment fails to safeguard the natural rights of its people.

It should also be noted that, Mary Wollstonecraft had already written a pamphlet on a similar title, A Vindication of the Rights of Men, in a Letter to the Right Honourable Edmund Burke; Occasioned by His Reflections on the Revolution in France in 1790! This was a political pamphlet that strongly condemned aristocracy and advocated republicanism.

Well, Mary Wollstonecraft assumes significance to us all today, not only because she is a proto-feminist of sorts - pioneering the way for the liberation, freedom and the emancipation of women - but also because she’s been a guiding light and an inspiration for a generation of writers who adore her and respect her for her bold stance in favour of women’s education!

One such ardent enthusiast and fervent fan of Mary Wollstonecraft is present day celebrity writer and journalist, Bee Rowlatt!


She's much akin in temperament also, to Mary Wollstonecraft, who was a veteran traveller and a seasoned adventurer, who journeyed all the way up to Scandinavia accompanied only by her maid and baby daughter! Bee Rowlatt, a married mother of four, so inspired by Mary Wollstonecraft and her adventure-seeking way of life, decides to retrace her travels taking her own baby along! (Remember Jane Goodall!?)

It should be noted that, way back in the 18th century, when Mary Wollstonecraft set out on her travels, the situation was such that, it was almost next to impossible for a woman to travel anywhere she wished to, without a male to accompany her and to protect her, in an age and clime that was known for its overt patriarchal dictates! But still, inspite of these insurmountable oddities around her, Mary Wollstonecraft managed to make it, and even went ahead and penned down her travels for posterity, in a book titled, Letters Written During a Short Residence in Sweden, Norway, and Denmark! The book not only went on to become such a hot seller in a short matter of time, but also became a huge inspiration to a host of Romantic poets and writers!

Well, Bee with her baby boy follows in Mary’s footsteps, to seek and to find out the trigger that prompted Mary, the mommy, to move ahead on her travels, her musings on the people and places she had visited, to help gain a better knowledge and understanding of Mary Wollstonecraft and her relevance for us all today!

Bee in Norway with her baby boy!
Bee’s book is significantly titled, In Search of Mary and it’s subtitled, “The Mother of All Journeys”, and with a reason at that!

Bee, in an interview to her publishers, talks in detail about her first rendezvous with the works of Mary Wollstonecraft, when she was a student of literature! She had then taken to reading her book on her Scandinavian Travels and, right there, - she says, - she was hooked on the spot at the fearlessness and the gut instincts that acted the trigger for Mary to go ahead on her travels!

Following Mary Wollstonecraft’s footsteps to Norway, Bee is all praise and admiration for the Norwegians, calling them the freest people of Europe, and rates Norway today as among the fairest and best places to live! Although 216 years may have separated their journeys, Bee admits with a startled surprise that, they were both shocked by the price of Norwegian coffee!!!!! Ende deivameyyy!!!!!

On her favourite Mary Wollstonecraft quote, Bee says –

I do not wish women to have power over men, but over themselves.

Saturday, 19 January 2019

'Freedom to know and love the earth and all that swims, lies and crawls upon it...'

From the Feminine Mystique to the Female Eunuch!

17 February 1963 was a defining moment in the history of the feminist movement, in that, Betty Friedan’s path-breaking book The Feminine Mystique was born!

Betty Friedan
The Feminine Mystique rips apart the hitherto pervasive, stereotyped ideology of the ‘domesticity of women,’ which, according to Betty, was more of a dampener and a ‘stifling stereotype’ that prevented women from putting off their domestic roles and realizing their fullest potential, outside the confines of the home!

This notion of the woman as a homemaker, was, generated, perpetuated and disseminated by a host of conditioning, constructing and constraining factors in society, such as the coercive, menacing and intimidating advertising by the commercial media with vested interests, the impact of Freudian psychology on the societal psyche, the perpetuation of the feminine myth by a plethora of women’s magazines, and also by educational institutions that served to spread abroad with equal gusto, this myth of the domesticity of women full throttle!

In a startling survey that Betty did amongst her classmates in Smith College, she found out that, many of them felt quite a drudge at home, depressed and stifled at not being able to realize their real selves, and breathe real freedom, although they were supposedly enjoying the so-called ideal lives back at home with their family – husbands and children. By this curtailing of the woman’s prowess and progress, Betty opines that, society is in fact doing a great injustice to the ‘second sex’ and thereby losing out on a vast repertoire of immense talent and expertise, argues Betty!

To Betty, the feminine mystique then, is the perpetuation of a gendered stereotype that, a woman’s ideal role in her society is to be a dutiful housewife, and a loving mother, and there’s got to be nothing outside of these constraining roles! Therefore, the mystique is a superficial notion of femininity that promotes domesticity and housewifery as the domain proper of the woman, and any aspirations or ideals apart from this, would be a misnomer, as it would be going against these fixed, pre-ordained ‘roles’ expected of her!

If The Feminine Mystique by Betty Friedan published in 1963, is such an eye-opener of sorts,

then

The Female Eunuch by Germaine Greer published in 1970 has been such a soul-shocker of sorts!

Germaine Greer
This book not only challenges the traditional, stereotyped roles of women in society, but also provided a wonderful framework for the feminist movement, in that, it empowered and encouraged women from across the world (like Nora does towards the climax in A Doll’s House), to question and to critique with vehement courage, the physicians, the psychiatrists, the priests, the media and the police who were beyond the ambit and the confines of being questioned, and who were in the most responsible for perpetuating the feminine stereotypes anywhere and everywhere they set foot!

By interrogating these patriarchal stereotypes that have resulted in a slew of epistemic violences unleashed on the ‘second sex’, Germaine Greer avers that, women could clearly see through the shallow and flippant postulates on which most of these patriarchal premises hinged upon!

Germaine Greer’s foreword to her 21st Anniversary Edition of the The Female Eunuch contains within its mould, the germs of an enlightened inspirational of sorts!

And I quote –

What more could women want?

Freedom, that’s what.

Freedom from being the thing looked at rather than the person looking back. Freedom from self-consciousness. Freedom from the duty of sexual stimulation of jaded male appetite, for which no breast ever bulges hard enough and no leg is ever long enough. Freedom from the uncomfortable clothes that must be worn to titillate. Freedom from shoes that make us shorten our steps and push our buttocks out. Freedom from the ever-present juvenile pulchritude.

Freedom from the humiliating insults heaped on us by the top shelf of the newsagents; freedom from rape, whether it is by being undressed verbally by the men on the building site, spied on as we go about our daily business, stopped, propositioned or followed on the street, greasily teased by our male workmates, pawed by the boss, used sadistically or against our will by the men we love, or violently terrorized and beaten by a stranger, or a gang of strangers.

The freedom I pleaded for twenty years ago was freedom to be a person, with the dignity, integrity, nobility, passion, pride that constitute personhood. Freedom to run, shout, to talk loudly and sit with your knees apart. Freedom to know and love the earth and all that swims, lies and crawls upon it. Freedom to learn and freedom to teach. Freedom from fear, freedom from hunger, freedom of speech and freedom of belief. Most of the women in the world are still afraid, still hungry, still mute and loaded by religion with all kinds of fetters, masked, muzzled, mutilated and beaten.

This book of 400-odd pages, begins with an impressive foreword, followed by an impactful summary, that literally paraphrases in about 14 pages, what is contained within the book, in a nutshell!

Then, in five clearly outlined parts that so define the scope and ambit of the book, Germaine Greer elucidates on the five important aspects that have thus far affected, impacted and conditioned women across the ages! No spoilers at that, though!

Just giving y’all a sample slice from off the 'Summary,' that’s been such an impactful read for academia and the rest of the world, over the years! Well, she’s also interspersed this summary of hers, with three memorable quotes, reproduced below –

"I am no bird; and no net ensnares me; I am a free human being with an independent will!"

Concept of Self – 3

We here continue from our previous pit-stop at Emile Durkheim, where he traces the growth of a human being from being an individual to becoming a person, when at the moment he starts playing out his social roles!

Indeed, the bildungsroman is an excellent prototype that bespeaks much to this concept of a sensitive soul seeking to venture out into the world in a quest that would help him/her to gain a better, fuller and an enriching understanding of his/her self! In this genre the main conflict happens usually between the protagonist or the main character and the society in which s/he dwells!

Also dubbed the ‘coming of age’ novel, this genre focuses on the maturity of the individual per se!

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte is a classic example of this sort!

Jane’s initial days at Lowood Institution were such a harrowing time for her, as she couldn’t quite fit in there! However, her love for books, and her vibrant companionship with two friends of hers, stood her in good stead all along, and she was able to discover for herself her real self worth!

Some of her striking lines are witness to this, her growth!

I care for myself. The more solitary, the more friendless, the more unsustained I am, the more I will respect myself.

I am no bird; and no net ensnares me; I am a free human being with an independent will!

Do you think I am an automaton? — a machine without feelings? and can bear to have my morsel of bread snatched from my lips, and my drop of living water dashed from my cup? Do you think, because I am poor, obscure, plain, and little, I am soulless and heartless? You think wrong! — I have as much soul as you — and full as much heart! And if God had gifted me with some beauty and much wealth, I should have made it as hard for you to leave me, as it is now for me to leave you. I am not talking to you now through the medium of custom, conventionalities, nor even of mortal flesh; - it is my spirit that addresses your spirit; just as if both had passed through the grave, and we stood at God's feet, equal,- as we are!"... therefore I am better than you - let me go!"

Therefore, this troubled search to find one’s own identity for oneself - living amongst the ignoble strife of the madding crowd - is achieved only through a strenuous process of trials, self-awakenings and revelations that the protagonist has to go through!


Sample yet another equally troubled search for finding one's own identity, in the much-renowned character of Nora! There are stark similarities in the rhetorical backlash and the powerful verbal strictures doled out by Jane to her lover Mr Rochester, and Nora's diatribe against her husband towards the climax in Ibsen’s A Doll’s House!

I quote from A Doll's House

Nora: I must try and get some sense, Torvald.

Helmer: To desert your home, your husband and your children! And you don't consider what people will say!

Nora: I cannot consider that at all. I only know that it is necessary for me.

Helmer: It's shocking. This is how you would neglect your most sacred duties.

Nora: What do you consider my most sacred duties?

Helmer: Do I need to tell you that? Are they not your duties to your husband and your children?

Nora: I have other duties just as sacred.

Helmer: That you have not. What duties could those be?

Nora: Duties to myself.

Helmer: Before all else, you are a wife and mother.

Nora: I don't believe that any longer. I believe that before all else I am a reasonable human being, just as you are — or, at all events, that I must try and become one. I know quite well, Torvald, that most people would think you right, and that views of that kind are to be found in books; but I can no longer content myself with what most people say, or with what is found in books. I must think over things for myself and get to understand them.

Helmer: Can you not understand your place in your own home? Have you not a reliable guide in such matters as that? — have you no religion?

Nora: I am afraid, Torvald, I do not exactly know what religion is.

Helmer: What are you saying?


Nora: I know nothing but what the clergyman said, when I went to be confirmed. He told us that religion was this, and that, and the other. When I am away from all this, and am alone, I will look into that matter too. I will see if what the clergyman said is true, or at all events if it is true for me.

I’m quite reminded of Emerson’s famous lines that passionately advocate a ‘sabbatical’ or a solitary time for oneself to learn, to grow and to become a ‘superior being’! He says, and I quote –

It is easy in the world to live after the world’s opinion; it is easy in solitude to live after our own; but the great man is he who in the midst of the crowd keeps with perfect sweetness the independence of solitude!

Yet another endearing character, - and one of our childhood favvys too – has been Hucky – Huckleberry Finn! What a brilliant description there is, in this narrative by Twain, on Huck’s path towards ‘Self’hood! 

Friday, 18 January 2019

From being an 'Individual' to becoming a 'Person'!

On the Concept of 'Self' - 2

Pitstopping next on our literary sojourn, on the concept of 'Self', let’s turn our attention to an interesting 'self-made' character, named Jay!

Jay Gatsby @ The Great Gatsby dot com!

Jay is depicted as a self-made man, but with a difference!

Jay believes that his self-worth and happiness are very much connected with the pursuit of money and possessions! Therefore, being part of a social group, to Jay, is to have a unique and exalted social standing of well repute! His views on the ‘Self’ therefore tend to sync with the concept of being a part of a social group! In other words, he’s far removed or alienated from his sense of ‘Self’ as his ideas of the ‘Self’ get their significance only in relation to a particular social group, and to no other!

This pursuit of finding happiness by being a part of a social group (no pun intended! I swear), becomes an obsession to Jay, resulting in a kinda OCD! A compulsive disorder of sorts! He feels that his self worth would - swainggg - go for a toss, if he doesn’t belong to this particular social group!

The mighty philosopher Jean Jacques Rousseau’s thoughts find such ample relevance here! To JJR,  it’s much-o-much important to cautiously guard, and diligently preserve one’s own freedom of the ‘Self’ in a sickening, social world where humans have become more and more dependent on one another that, they very strongly feel, connects much-o-much with their concept of self-worth! In short, this 'need' for a social connect, ain’t any longer a mere ‘want’ or a ‘desire,’ but a dire ‘need’ and a ‘necessity’ for them!

In his Social Contract, he (JJR) advocates the view that, real freedom for a human being is when ‘each citizen would obey only himself’! This is because, when a citizen hands over one’s right of ruling oneself to the hands of another person or corporation, it clearly constitutes a form of slavery in itself! So much to his exalted notions on power of the ‘Self’!

Well, it’s so interesting to note that Hegel and subsequently Marx himself, took a few leaves out of JJR’s books to work on this concept of alienation of the ‘Self’ in such impactful ways!

James Joyce in his Portrait, gives his readers a delightful glimpse into this concept of the ‘Self’ through his protagonist Stephen Dedalus, to whom ‘Self’ is always seen as being interconnected in a vast network of interrelated anomalies!

The young Stephen Dedalus is depicted as writing down his name in his geography book in an unending series of addresses that seem to identify him and thereby seeks to fix his identity based on a number of qualifiers!

Stephen Dedalus, Class of Elements, Clongowes College, Sallins, County Kildare, Ireland, Europe, the World, the Universe!

Tracing his identity from off his present class in which he is currently enrolled, to his college, to his county, to his country, to his continent, and to the universe, clearly outlines how Stephen’s perspectives on his ‘Self’ are enmeshed in a maze of qualifiers that constrain and constrict his identity and his views on his ‘Self’!

To Emile Durkheim, that famed French sociologist who has oft been discussed on our pages, a man is defined, constructed and constrained by his society and his social relations! The moment he starts playing his ‘social role’, he grows into a person, from being an individual!

Thursday, 17 January 2019

That 'Precious Stone'!

On the Concept of ‘Self!’ - I

Contemplations on the concept of the ‘Self’ have always been so fascinating and amazing!

Philosophers, litterateurs and sages of yore, down the ages, have given us all, powerful, life-sustaining, life-celebrating, life-impacting maxims that hinge on the importance of celebrating this wonderful concept of the ‘self’!

The Greek writer and geographer Pausanias, vouches to quite a few of these wonderful sayings on the ‘self,’ inscribed in gold, since days of yore, by sages across ages, at the sacred Temple of Apollo in Delphi, right at the forecourt to the temple! These life-giving words and useful phrases for humans, were edifying edifices that served to strengthen the soul! To this end, these maxims and aphorisms abounded aplenty in the mouths of all Greeks right from tiny tots to elders alike!

One of such impactful maxims that glistened and gleamed at the forecourt to the Temple is,

Know thyself!

Socrates later expanded and explicated on this wonderful aphorism, as –

The unexamined life is not worth living!

In fact, cultural orientations and their hugey impact on the individual have always had a profound impact on the concept of the ‘Self’!

And, as is oft said, while the Western view of the ‘Self’ tends more towards ‘Individualism’, the Asian and African perspectives to the self have always laid more emphasis on ‘Collectivism’!

Hence foraying into these significant social views of the ‘Self’ have ramifications galore both on the societal and the individual planes as well!

However, I would try going beyond these social constructs of the ‘Self’ and strive to put forth a few glimpses of the Self from a ‘liminal’ist sweep!

Soren Kierkegaard, the most influential Danish philosopher of the 19th century, in his book The Sickness Unto Death, [written when Nietzsche woulda just finished his LKG, UKG and musta been enrolled to the first grade/standard in primary school, in the year 1849,] says on the Self, that, 

The biggest danger, that of losing oneself, can pass off in the world as quietly as if it were nothing: every other loss, an arm, a leg, five dollars, etc. is bound to be noticed.

In fact, Kierkegaard’s profound investigations on the concept of the ‘Self’ was to greatly inspire, impact and influence a ‘host’y generation of later philosophers including the likes of Freud, William James, Nietzsche, Heidegger, Camus, Sartre, et al.

To Kierkegaard, there is within humans, the dualities of the finite and the infinite!

The finite to him, is a limiting, constraining and conditioning factor that impedes and prevents human beings from attaining their fullest potential, whereas the infinite is the ‘expanding factor’ that moots, inspires and motivates infinite possibilities galore within the human!

So the realm of the infinite within humans, is the capacity to think new thoughts, work on new ideas, create new streams of knowledge, work on new inventions, et al!

To restrict oneself to the finite mode, then, would be to perceive and to imagine that one is living in a cloistered, inescapable environment, where no escape is possible, and where there’s no possibility of breaking free into the world of the infinite! Such a perspective to life would often lead to anxiety, depression and a slavish dependence on others.

To Kierkegaard, such individuals often find safety and security by assimilating themselves into social, institutional, or familial networks, finding it,

too venturesome a thing to be himself, far easier and safer to be like the others, to become an imitation, a number, a cipher in the crowd. (The Sickness Unto Death)

On the contrary, ‘to lose oneself in the infinite’ would mean to live your little life on planet earth as though life presents to you a huge foray of unending possibilities of the vast expanse of the unexplored to be unearthed, and uncovered! To such people as this, life is seen as something so unique, so dynamic and so vibrant, as a ‘series of endlesssssss experiments!'

Tuesday, 8 January 2019

'What’s that ONE Thing I can do...'?

Do the detox on the clutter!

Real overwhelmed by the astounding, or rather breath-taking response I have received thus far, from my students, on this year’s ‘Annual Declutter Challenge’ [ADC] on the go!


Well, for a little flashback, this little initiative started way back in 2009, as a ‘single step’, a ‘simple step’, and a ‘proactive step’ towards enhancing the competence and performance of the vibrant learner who has been faithfully entrusted to our care and guidance! The questions listed down on the post, were then distributed to students to help them work on their strengths and weaknesses!

And slowly, over the years, this challenge has only gained in momentum, from strength to strength!

The question was quite simple and easy!

What is cluttering your life now?

The second one follows from the first!

What is that one clutter that you would like to declutter from off your life, right now, right here, right away? 

Third, can I take a resolve to myself, that I can stay far away from this ‘clutter’ that’s been so cluttering me, pulling me down so heavily, bogging me down from flying high, and making me not achieve my fullest potential?

Fourth, can I do away with this clutter, for a minimum duration of at least a month’s time! (No high-end resolves here, please! Just one month’s time would do, to begin with!)

Yes! one whole month, to begin with!

That would be sane, practical, and modest by all means!

If, for example, if it’s gotta be my addiction to the Television! Could I take a mighty resolve to stay away from this compelling addiction of sorts? Or in other words, can I do a detox on the TV for at least a month’s time?

Or

It could be my compulsive addiction to one or two or even many social networking sites, or the cinema, or that odd videogame that keeps me on tenterhooks even in the middle of the night! Or some apps on my mobile that real drive me crazy all the time!

Or it could be that frivolous friendship or vain gossip that’s draining me of my energy, and my time as well, just whiling away my precious time in their jocund and merry company, without any productive purpose, whatsoever, to it!

Do I really have what it takes, to be far far away from the huge influence of any of this clutter, and focus instead, on the ‘one thing that is needed’!

Yes there is that ‘one thing’ that right now demands all my attention! All my time! All my focus! All my concentration! All my effort! All my hard work! All my sweat! All my toil! All my energy!

Do I have the guts to go ahead, and declutter my life!

In their wonderful inspirational titled, The ONE Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results, Gary and Jay, give such a lucid and elegant elaboration on this ‘one thing’!

The book brings out the benefits of focusing all our attention, all our time, all our focus on a single task, the one thing, with all our concentration and all our effort, and all our energy, with such a singular, committed focus! This leads to the ‘focusing question!’

What’s the ONE Thing I can do such that by doing it everything else will be easier or unnecessary?

I quote –

For me, the Focusing Question is a way of life. I use it to find my most leveraged priority, make the most out of my time, and get the biggest bang for my buck. Whenever the outcome absolutely matters, I ask it. I ask it when I wake up and start my day. I ask it when I get to work, and again when I get home. What’s the ONE Thing I can do such that by doing it everything else will be easier or unnecessary? And when I know the answer, I continue to ask it until I can see the connections and all my dominoes are lined up.

The Focusing Question is the foundational habit I use to achieve extraordinary results and lead a big life. I use it for some things and not at all for others. I apply it to the important areas of my life: my spiritual life, physical health, personal life, key relationships, job, business, and financial life. And I address them in that order—each one is a foundation for the next.

Because I want my life to matter, I approach each area by doing what matters most in it. I view these as the cornerstones of my life and have found that when I’m doing what’s most important in each area, my life feels like it’s running on all cylinders.

Sunday, 6 January 2019

With outstretched arms she whispered, ‘My beautiful Eden! I love you! My valley and mountains!'

Myriad Responses to Beauty in Literature – V

Thus far, in our series on the various perspectives to beauty drawn from a range of literatures from across the world, it could be gleaned with a high level of certitude that, the concept of beauty has always been highly subjective in its appeal, all along!

In this regard, I'd so love to give out a quote from Terence Hawkes that syncs to a tee with this premise of the 'subjective slant to one’s perception' – be it on beauty, on truth, on reality, etc! 

Well, it’s a primer of fame and high-renown, that I’ve been so happily recommending over the years, to all my near and dear ones in academia! It’s titled Structuralism and Semiotics.

I quote from TH –

Every perceiver's method of perceiving can be shown to contain an inherent bias which affects what is perceived to a significant degree.

A wholly objective perception of individual entities is therefore not possible: any observer is bound to create something of what he observes.

Accordingly, the relationship between observer and observed achieves a kind of primacy. It becomes the only thing that can be observed ...

In consequence, the true nature of things may be said to lie not in things themselves, but in the relationships which we construct, and then perceive, between them.

This new concept, that the world is made up of relationships rather than things, constitutes the first principle of that way of thinking which can properly be called 'structuralist'.

- Terence Hawkes in Structuralism and Semiotics

Now, with this little Hawkes-ean premise to liven up our musings skyhigh, let’s get back, to continue - delightfully - from our previously pit-stopped reading jaunt of sorts!

Here we go!

[And yesss! Textual quotes have been italicized as usual, as always!]

O Pioneers! by Willa Cather, has quite a phenomenal take on ‘beauty’ altogether! Alexandra Bergson, the lead character of this ‘Cather masterpiece,’ comes to the wind-swept prairies of Nebraska, as a girl and makes it a very fertile and prosperous farm over the years! She is so transfixed and in awe with the beauty of the land, and hence spontaneously establishes a kind of transcendental connect with the land!

And I quote from the book -

For the first time, perhaps, since that land emerged from the waters of geologic ages, a human face was set toward it with love and yearning. It seemed beautiful to her, rich and strong and glorious. Her eyes drank in the breadth of it, until her tears blinded her. Then the Genius of the Divide, the great, free spirit which breathes across it, must have bent lower than it ever bent to a human will before.

Alexandra feels there’s so much beauty to the land,  that her love for the land may ultimately triumph, even at the expense of her love!

To Carl Linstrum, Alexandra’s love interest, the land had its own ‘savage kind of beauty’ to itself!

A stranger, approaching it, could not help noticing the beauty and fruitfulness of the outlying fields. There was something individual about the great farm, a most unusual trimness and care for detail. On either side of the road, for a mile before you reached the foot of the hill, stood tall osage orange hedges, their glossy green marking off the yellow fields.

Cogewea, The Half-Blood: A depiction of the Great Montana Cattle Range, is yet another romance novel that deals with this beauty innate within the land! 

Written by Mourning Dove - also known as Christine Quintasket - Cogewea also has claim and fame to one of the earliest novels written by an indigenous woman.

The landscape, for Cogewea, was extremely sacred, as it provided a historical record of all her native ancestors!

Then the author Mourning Dove proceeds to give a description of the beauty of the landscape and Cogewea’s love for the land and its Edenic beauty!

The girl arose and stood as in a trance. Slowly, with outstretched arms she whispered. ‘My beautiful Eden! I love you! My valley and mountains! It is too bad that you be redeemed from the wild, once the home of my vanishing race and where the buffalo roamed at will. Where hunting was a joy to the tribesmen, who communed with the Great Spirit. I would that I had lived in those days,—that the blood of the white man had not condemned me an outcast among my own people.’


A similar descriptor to the land and its pristine beauty is doled out by Thoreau in his wonderful essay titled, ‘Walking’!

This essay is a magnificent celebration of walking in the bosom of Nature! To Thoreau, a person who lives closest to Nature is the most alive!

The most alive is the wildest!

Then he proceeds to put forth his most beautiful lines on the beauty and the charm of mother Nature, thus –

Here is this vast, savage, howling mother of ours, Nature, lying all around, with such beauty, and such affection for her children, as the leopard; and yet we are so early weaned from her breast to society, to that culture which is exclusively an interaction of man on man, – a sort of breeding in and in, which produces at most a merely English nobility, a civilization destined to have a speedy limit!

Even as the beauty of the land and nature are exemplified in the framework of an integrative, interconnected framework, there are also works that portray the commodification of this pristine beauty contained within the land!