High Terrain

Overview

In his Theogony, the ancient Greek poet Hesiod describes the earliest gods as Gaping Chasm (Chaos), Earth, and Eros, a primordial triad that represents the elemental powers of nature. The mountain journey experientially and metaphorically accesses these forces, which are self-generative, precede duality, and are fundamental to the development of all life. The mountain, as Earth, becomes a physical and imaginal threshold to the untamable yet life-giving forces of Eros and Chaos. Fierce with wild beauty, life, and ...
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Overview

In his Theogony, the ancient Greek poet Hesiod describes the earliest gods as Gaping Chasm (Chaos), Earth, and Eros, a primordial triad that represents the elemental powers of nature. The mountain journey experientially and metaphorically accesses these forces, which are self-generative, precede duality, and are fundamental to the development of all life. The mountain, as Earth, becomes a physical and imaginal threshold to the untamable yet life-giving forces of Eros and Chaos. Fierce with wild beauty, life, and death, the mountain place-world turns us back on ourselves and embeds us physically, psychically, and imaginally in the broader place-world called Earth. This dissertation explores mountain terrain as a particular and archetypal place-world, where the inherent form and characteristics of mountains engender a dialectical relationship between mountains and those who engage their vertical ground. I explore this relationship through the memoirs of twentieth- and twenty-first-century Western mountain climbers as well as through my own memoir of mountain journeys. The notion put forth by Carl Jung, and later by James Hillman, that image is fundamental to psyche provides a theoretical basis for this exploration. The narratives discussed in the work as well as the narrative of this dissertation are funded by the physical reality and sensory experience of mountains but mediated by the imaging activity of the psyche and, as Hillman writes, "its poetic basis of mind." The mountain's form and character enlivens and nourishes the contemporary Western psyche through experiences of implacement and orientation, of verticality, and of wildness. And although the compelling nature of mountains defies definition, it reveals itself most fully when approached through a mythic imagination.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781244032446
  • Publisher: BiblioLabsII
  • Publication date: 9/11/2011
  • Pages: 256
  • Product dimensions: 7.44 (w) x 9.69 (h) x 0.54 (d)

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