The Tree

The Tree

4.6 15
by John Fowles, Frank Horvat
     
 

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In this series of moving recollections involving both his childhood and his work as a mature artist, John Fowles explains the impact of nature on his life and the dangers inherent in our traditional urge to categorize, to tame and ultimately to possess the landscape. This acquisitive drive leads to alienation and an antagonism to the apparent disorder and randomness… See more details below

Overview

In this series of moving recollections involving both his childhood and his work as a mature artist, John Fowles explains the impact of nature on his life and the dangers inherent in our traditional urge to categorize, to tame and ultimately to possess the landscape. This acquisitive drive leads to alienation and an antagonism to the apparent disorder and randomness of the natural world. For John Fowles the tree is the best analogue of prose fiction, symbolizing the wild side or our psyche, and he stresses the importance in art of the unpredictable, the unaccountable and the intuitive.

Editorial Reviews

E. S. Turner
This is a very short book which delights as it piques and puzzles. And how very right that The Tree should be "made from wood from sustainable forests."
Times Literary Supplement
New York Times
“Beautiful. . . . A cross between Thoreau’s “Walden” and John Berger’s “Ways of Seeing,” with a dash of “The Gift,” Lewis Hyde’s cult-classic manifesto on creativity.
Washington Post
“The most original argument for wilderness preservation I have encountered.”
Atlantic Monthly
“Delightful... The real subject of this arboreal excursion is not trees at all, but the importance in art of the unpredictable, the unaccountable, the intuitive, the not discernibly useful.”
Christian Science Monitor
“[John Fowles] is a master of style, evident in the ease with which he transforms the abstract into the highly tangible, without sacrificing any of the subtleties.”
Los Angeles Times Book Review
The Tree is part memoir, part explanation and part warning, one of the most beautiful, succinct and prescient pieces of writing we have.”
The New Yorker
"[B]elongs alongside the finest wilderness-rambling narratives."
The Paris Review
"A revelation."
The Stranger
“[A] great book. . . . [T]he perfect little thing to roll up in your pocket and take with you for a lunch in the park. It’s like having a laid-back, wide-ranging conversation with one of the greatest novelists of the 20th century.”
Women's Voices for Change
“[A] beautifully honed plea for us to “be” in the natural world, to seek human creativity through the wild. . . . Beyond the tree and beyond the woods, Fowles challenges us to embrace the unpredictable, the untamable, the unquantifiable.”
Financial Times
The Tree is a powerful, absorbing and beautifully written meditation on the connection between man and nature. . . . [A] magnificent and perfectly poised argument for a form of conservation that is even more pertinent now than when it was first published.”
Chicago Tribune
“A gentle plea for wilderness [and] an argument for art and the imagination.”
Lewis Hyde
“THE TREE is the fullest and finest exploration I’ve ever read of how the useless delights to be discovered in nature can ripen into the practice of art.”
Lydia Millet
“Please read this book. It says the most important thing, and with a lovely succinctness. Step off the narrow path, so cleverly engineered for you, into the deep cathedral of the woods-where there are no engineers and the true self abides.”
Brad Kessler
“THE TREE defies easy definition and even genre. Whatever else it happens to be-memoir, philosophy, natural history-the book is a kind of forest, and Fowles a masterful field guide. He shows us the hidden place where the woods and literature converge.”
The New Yorker "Book Bench"
“[B]elongs alongside the finest wilderness-rambling narratives.”
The Paris Review "Daily"
“A revelation.”
From the Publisher
"The most original argument for wilderness preservation I have encountered." - Washington Post

"A text of unusual beauty and perception." - Publishers Weekly

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780316289573
Publisher:
Little, Brown & Company
Publication date:
03/01/1980
Pages:
122

What People are saying about this

Lydia Millet
“Please read this book. It says the most important thing, and with a lovely succinctness. Step off the narrow path, so cleverly engineered for you, into the deep cathedral of the woods-where there are no engineers and the true self abides.”
Lewis Hyde
“THE TREE is the fullest and finest exploration I’ve ever read of how the useless delights to be discovered in nature can ripen into the practice of art.”
Brad Kessler
“THE TREE defies easy definition and even genre. Whatever else it happens to be-memoir, philosophy, natural history-the book is a kind of forest, and Fowles a masterful field guide. He shows us the hidden place where the woods and literature converge.”

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