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In defence of the Irish essay
Karen Babine

8 Tim Robinson and Chris Arthur: in defence of the Irish essay Karen Babine In what might be one of the most clever delivery systems of the primary argument of the non-fiction genre – that of truth in non-fiction – noted American non-fictionists Bill Roorbach and Dave Messer created a ‘cartoon essay’ to address the negotiation of truth and fact, between fact and fallible memory, between recollected dialogue and the subjective effects of experience. The cartoon narrator finally concludes: ‘Try your best to be both accurate and artistic. Take it as a challenge to

in Unfolding Irish landscapes
Derek Gladwin

4 Documentary map-making and film-making in Pat Collins’s Tim Robinson: Connemara Derek Gladwin A map is a sustained attempt upon an unattainable goal, the complete comprehension by an individual of a tract of space that will be individualized into a place by that attempt.1 – Tim Robinson In sum a film is a map, and … its symbolic and political effectiveness is a function of its identity as a cartographic diagram.2 – Tom Conley Documenting through map-making and film-making In the documentary film Tim Robinson: Connemara (2011), director Pat Collins spotlights

in Unfolding Irish landscapes
Kelly Sullivan

6 Not knowing as aesthetic imperative in Tim Robinson’s Stones of Aran Kelly Sullivan In Pat Collins’s 2011 film, Tim Robinson:  Connemara, Robinson describes his map-making in terms of what is unknown, explaining that the white space of the black-and-white maps represents ‘the state of ignorance with which one starts’. As if to drive home the point that the cartographer or writer of a place can at best gesture toward an entirety, he goes on to say, ‘your ignorance transcends any amount you write about the place or can express on one sheet’.1 He makes a similar

in Unfolding Irish landscapes
Tim Robinson, culture and environment

Unfolding Irish landscapes offers a comprehensive and sustained study of the work of cartographer, landscape writer and visual artist Tim Robinson. The visual texts and multi-genre essays included in this book, from leading international scholars in Irish Studies, geography, ecology, environmental humanities, literature and visual culture, explore Robinson’s writing, map-making and art. Robinson’s work continues to garner significant attention not only in Ireland, but also in the United Kingdom, Europe and North America, particularly with the recent celebration of the twenty-fifth anniversary of his monumental Stones of Aran: pilgrimage. Robert Macfarlane has described Robinson’s work in Ireland as ‘one of the most sustained, intensive and imaginative studies of a landscape that has ever been carried out’. It is difficult to separate Robinson the figure from his work and the places he surveys in Ireland – they are intertextual and interconnected. This volume explores some of these characteristics for both general and expert readers alike. As individual studies, the essays in this collection demonstrate disciplinary expertise. As parts of a cohesive project, they form a collective overview of the imaginative sensibility and artistic dexterity of Robinson’s cultural and geographical achievements in Ireland. By navigating Robinson’s method of ambulation through his prose and visual creations, this book examines topics ranging from the politics of cartography and map-making as visual art forms to the cultural and environmental dimensions of writing about landscapes.

Tim Robinson as narrative scholar
Christine Cusick

5 ‘And now intellect, discovering its own effects’: Tim Robinson as narrative scholar Christine Cusick Seeing comes before words. The child looks and recognizes before it can speak. But there is another sense in which seeing comes before words. It is seeing which establishes our place in the surrounding world; we explain that world with words but words can never undo the fact that we are surrounded by it. The relation between what we see and what we know is never settled.1 – John Berger Introduction There is a small cafe table in my campus office, and on either

in Unfolding Irish landscapes
Abstract only
John Elder

uninhabited housing estate; now they can hasten onward, past the studio of Folding Landscapes and into Roundstone Bay. But the drops trickling north and east from Errisbeg will gather into rivulets that trace a network of softly inscribed glens. These will become the tributaries for dozens of irregular lochs strewn across the bog’s interior like puzzle pieces scattered on a table.Visible streams connect some of these bodies of water to one another, while arteries under the peat link the whole system into one soggy pulsation. ‘Catchment’ is the word by which Tim Robinson

in Unfolding Irish landscapes
Abstract only
Ireland’s ‘ABC of earth wonders’
Derek Gladwin and Christine Cusick

Introduction: Ireland’s ‘ABC of earth wonders’ Derek Gladwin and Christine Cusick In my face, the Atlantic wind, brining walls of rain, low ceilings of cloud, dazzling windows of sunshine, the endless transformation scenes of the far west … The hill is Errisbeg, which shelters the little fishing-village of Roundstone from the west wind, in Connemara; … it has been my wonderful and wearying privilege to explore in detail over the last fifteen years, the Burren uplands in County Clare, the Aran Islands, and Connemara itself.1 – Tim Robinson Setting foot on the

in Unfolding Irish landscapes
The deep mapping projects of Tim Robinson’s art and writings, 1969–72
Nessa Cronin

3 ‘The fineness of things’: the deep mapping projects of Tim Robinson’s art and writings, 1969–72 Nessa Cronin But if it is true that Time began, it is clear that nothing else has begun since, that every apparent beginning is a stage in an elder process.The compass rose that unfurled about me in Aran, I now discover, had its stem in London.1 – Tim Robinson Tim Robinson’s work has become a touchstone for those interested in, and concerned with, the changing nature of the modern Irish landscape. In particular, the production of the maps of The Burren (1977; 1999

in Unfolding Irish landscapes
Listening in/to Tim Robinson
Gerry Smyth

11 ‘About nothing, about everything’: listening in/to Tim Robinson Gerry Smyth And now as if the cleaning and the scrubbing and the scything and the mowing had drowned it there rose that half-heard melody, that intermittent music which the ear half catches but lets fall; a bark, a bleat; irregular, intermittent, yet somehow related; the hum of an insect, the tremor of cut grass, dissevered yet somehow belonging; the jar of a dor beetle, the squeak of a wheel, loud, low, but mysteriously related; which the ear strains to bring together and is always on the verge

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

12 ‘Another half-humanized boulder lying on unprofitable ground’?: the visual art of Tim Robinson/Timothy Drever Catherine Marshall Some years ago, introducing Views From an Island – an exhibition of contemporary Irish Art from the collection of the Irish Museum of Modern Art – to an audience in Beijing, and wondering, as one does, where to begin, I found myself explaining, with some difficulty for the listeners, that Ireland is as small as it is, that it floats on the westernmost edge of a large land mass, and that art from this geographically peripheral place

in Unfolding Irish landscapes