Starting in the summer of 2017, I’ve added inspirational or informational quotes to the top of the site. These change every so often, so I’ll archive the old quotes here, from newest to oldest:

“The sea is a desert of waves,
A wilderness of water.”
-Langston Hughes, Selected Poems

“The Peace of Wild Things,” by Wendell Berry: When despair for the world grows in me / and I wake in the night at the least sound…/ I come into the peace of wild things / who do not tax their lives with forethought / of grief. I come into the presence of still water. / And I feel above me the day-blind stars / waiting with their light. / For a time I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.

“There is no kingdom like the forests. It is time I went there, went in silence, went alone. And maybe there I would learn at last what no act or art or power can teach me, what I have never learned.” –The Farthest Shore, Ursula K. Le Guin

“The poet’s voice need not merely be the record of man, it can be one of the props, the pillars to help him endure and prevail.” -William Faulkner, Nobel Banquet Speech, 1950

“Both utopia and dystopia are often an enclave of maximum control surrounded by a wilderness — as in Butler’s Erewhon, E. M. Forster’s “The Machine Stops,” and Yevgeny Zamyatin’s We. Good citizens of utopia consider the wilderness dangerous, hostile, unlivable; to an adventurous or rebellious dystopian it represents change and freedom. In this I see examples of the intermutability of the yang and yin: the dark mysterious wilderness surrounding a bright, safe place, the Bad Places — which then become the Good Place, the bright, open future surrounding a dark, closed prison . . . Or vice versa”. -Ursula K. Le Guin, Electric Lit

“What kind of novel can make sense of this [climate] crisis and our increasingly incoherent responses to it? Interestingly, many of the most thoughtful responses have emerged from the literatures of the fantastic, or borrowed techniques from science fiction and fantasy, genres that have spent the past century evolving strategies for describing the sort of transformative change we are experiencing.” -James Bradley, Sydney Review of Books

“Music is the ultimate medium for expressions of love, and those expressions find a beautiful backdrop in the environment. Music is also a popular rallying point — at its central core, it’s a way for people to get in touch with the best parts of themselves and to voice the love in their hearts. And the environment is one of the great loves of our lives — when we think of the best parts of ourselves, the environment is always there, informing us, as a backdrop.” — Gord Downie

The association of the wild and the wood also run deep in etymology. The two words are thought to have grown out of the root word wald and the old Teutonic word walthus, meaning ‘forest.’ Walthus entered Old English in its variant forms of ‘weald,’ ‘wald,’ and ‘wold,’ which were used to designate both ‘a wild place’ and ‘a wooded place,’ in which wild creatures–wolves, foxes, bears–survived. The wild and wood also graft together in the Latin word silva, which means ‘forest,’ and from which emerged the idea of ‘savage,’ with its connotations of fertility….  –Robert Macfarlane, The Wild Places

If we’re lucky enough to get into the wilderness, our bodies and our spirits crackle with life. Our legs on a trail feel stronger. They become animal again. Our sense of smell is honed. Raven speaks to us in one of the 200 dialects ornithologists have been able to measure. When a grizzly inhales my scent, I live for a moment inside his body, inside his mind. How can I not be changed? -Lorna Crozier, The Wild in You (interview)

“What we bloodlessy call place is to young children a wild compound of dream, spell and substance: place is somewhere they are always in, never on.” -Robert Macfarlane, Landmarks

The Game of Thrones has beautiful ecology and lore, which we are studying here at eco-fiction.com, but the books are not intended to be about modern day climate change. According to the author: “Like Tolkien I do not write allegory, at least not intentionally. Obviously you live in the world and you’re affected by the world around you, so some things sink in on some level, but, if I really wanted to write about climate change in the 21st century I’d write a novel about climate change in the 21st century.” -George RR Martin in Nerdalicious

What if we loved the planet the way that we claim we love our spouses, or children, or lovers? If we are learning anything from the speed with which climate change and our knowledges and discoveries about the natural world are barreling forward, in part it’s this: the Earth was never an object for humans to own, nor was anything on it. -Lidia Yuknavitch, Wired

This coming-of-age story [Borne] signals that eco-fiction has come of age as well: wilder, more reckless and more breathtaking than previously thought, a wager and a promise that what emerges from the 21st century will be as good as any from the 20th, or the 19th. –New York Times

 

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