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Postcolonialism and ecology in the work of Tim Robinson

14 Essayist of place: postcolonialism and ecology in the work of   Tim Robinson Eóin Flannery In his 1993 study of cartography and folklore, Mapping the Invisible Landscape, Kent C.  Ryden underscores the necessary interdisciplinarity of what he terms ‘the essayist of place’.1 Impelled by a desire to do justice to the complexity, or ‘thickness’, of place histories, of place – visual and textual – for Ryden, ‘the essayist of place is at once a cartographer, a landscape painter, a photographer, an archivist, and a folklorist, as well as a storyteller … [and] a

in Unfolding Irish landscapes
The spa in Celtic Tiger Ireland

11 Health and wellness or conspicuous consumption? The spa in Celtic Tiger Ireland Ronan Foley Alongside taking up golf and buying overseas property, attending spas was a signifier of Celtic Tiger Ireland’s new affluence. Whether associated with the latest hotel and spa development or as part of a wider wellness practice, the word ‘spa’ suggests a whole range of contradictory meanings from pampering and luxury to retreat and mindfulness (Smith and Puczko, 2009). This chapter begins with a short discussion of the history and development of the modern spa with a

in Spacing Ireland

the contradictions of the human world – geology, biology, personal history, myth, politics – into ‘a state of consciousness even fleetingly worthy of its ground’. He proposes that such a synthesis would not be just a work of art, but a step beyond: ‘it would be like a reading of that work’. ‘Impossible,’ he says. And yet it is precisely this aesthetic and ecological experiment that drives both volumes of Stones of Aran (Pilgrimage and Labyrinth).5 104 Kelly Sullivan Thus Robinson’s masterpiece of ecological prose, the Stones of Aran diptych, suggests failure at

in Unfolding Irish landscapes
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topography, the most skeletal and reductive representation of its geometry, is profoundly suggestive of a way of looking at the world and caring for it.’1 Across the seasons and over the decades, Robinson has walked the catchments near his home in Connemara (see Figure 7). Not only has he come to know them in intimate detail, but he has also tracked their confluence with the geology, language and history of western Ireland. 42 John Elder Figure 7  Connemara topography (from Pat Collins’s film Tim Robinson: Connemara, photo by Colm Hogan). Since moving to Ireland almost

in Unfolding Irish landscapes
The visual art of Tim Robinson/Timothy Drever

Surrealist map, Luke Gibbons points out that Breton and his friends, unlike the Futurists and other modernists who sought to eliminate the past, looked to history for the voices that were silenced in it, or vanquished in the name of progress.3 Robinson’s maps of the Aran Islands, Connemara and the Burren could not be described as Surrealist but they share that movement’s understanding of the importance of historical voices, especially the voices of those who have been overlooked or diminished in the thrust toward economic progress. Robinson’s maps and writings have been

in Unfolding Irish landscapes
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Ireland’s ‘ABC of earth wonders’

, as well as the entrenched human need for his approach. Through both topographic prose and map-making Robinson undertakes one of the greatest explorations of the Irish landscape by a single person in recent history, paralleling, if not surpassing, Robert Lloyd Praeger’s extensive catalogue of writings and natural histories of western Ireland. Since 2005, paralleling Robinson’s own unfolding of the Connemara trilogy, there have been about a dozen reviews and full-length published articles that recognise the critical importance of Robinson’s work. There are essays

in Unfolding Irish landscapes
Tim Robinson’s place in Irish Studies

consider Irish history or Irish literature worthy of specialised study. To found ACIS was a necessity and the new organisation, with its interdisciplinary outlook and desire to undermine ingrained attitudes, embraced the zeitgeist of the times. Academic organisations gather individuals into groups though the types of people who join such organisations are almost by nature solitary. In many respects, scholars are at their happiest, and some would argue at their best, while working alone in libraries, studies or offices. Whereas the conference is the place where research

in Unfolding Irish landscapes
Open Access (free)
Digital photography and cartography in Wolfgang Weileder’s Atlas

through which to discuss photography’s own ‘writing with light’ (Barthes, 1984: 96). Indeed, just as Weileder’s practice suggests a fascination with the intersection of time and space, so Benjamin suggests that every photograph presents ‘space-crossed time’. If the photographic image is ‘dialectics at a standstill’, then, according to Cadava: it interrupts history and opens up another possibility of history, one that spaces time and temporalises space. A force of arrest, the image translates an aspect of time into a certain space, and does so without stopping time, or

in Time for mapping
In defence of the Irish essay

the negotiation between fact, fiction and the page, an argument that is not solely confined to non-fiction (and American non-fiction).2 Irish literature, perhaps more than other national literatures (including American), seems to be preoccupied with negotiating the zone between fact and fiction and the concept provokes an interesting interpretation of this question. In The History of the Irish Novel, Derek Hand observes, The story of the self, of its creation and its persistence, is the only important one and, yet, the truth of that, the reality of it, can only be

in Unfolding Irish landscapes
The case for practice theory

shifting temporalities in everyday life. The contours of cartographic theory sketched out In this section, cartographic theory is laid out in brief to provide a context against which to situate the value of a practice theory of digital maps. Full histories of cartographic theory have been written elsewhere, with Perkins (2003), Edney (2005) and Crampton (2010) each providing excellent overviews. In summary, cartography has existed for millennia, and in various forms. However, cartographic theory emerged only immediately prior to the Second World War, largely through the

in Time for mapping