The Tree
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The Tree

3.72 (712 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

"For years I have carried this book...with me on travels to reread, ponder, envy. In prose of classic gravity, precision, and delicacy, Fowles addresses matters of final importance." --Los Angeles Times Book Review "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." --Lewis Hyde, author of The Gift "The most original argument for wilderness preservation I have encountered." --Washington Post Finally back in print, here is the 30th anniversary edition of The Tree--the renowned English novelist John Fowles's (The Magus, The French Lieutenant's Woman) moving meditation on the connection between the natural world and human creativity. An inspiring modern ecological classic, The Tree is both a powerful argument against taming the wild and a major author's inspiring and beautifully written defense of "the joys of getting lost," and of spontaneity in life and art.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 91 pages
  • 132.08 x 198.12 x 10.16mm | 113.4g
  • Ecco Press
  • New York, NY, United States
  • English
  • 30th
  • black & white illustrations
  • 0061997773
  • 9780061997778
  • 232,260

Review quote

"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. --"Financial Times""show more

Back cover copy

John Fowles (1926-2005) is widely regarded as one of the preeminent English novelists of the twentieth century--his books have sold millions of copies worldwide, been turned into beloved films, and been popularly voted among the 100 greatestnovels of the century. To a smaller yet no less passionate audience, Fowles is also known for having written The Tree, one of his few works of nonfiction. First published a generation ago, it is a provocative meditation on the connection between the natural world and human creativity, and a powerful argument against taming the wild. In it, Fowles recounts his own childhood in England and describes how he rebelled against his Edwardian father's obsession with the "quantifiable yield" of well-pruned fruit trees and came to prize instead the messy, purposeless beauty of nature left to its wildest. The Tree is an inspiring, even life-changing book, like Lewis Hyde's The Gift, one that reaffirms our connection to nature and reminds us of the pleasure of getting lost, the merits of having no plan, and the wisdom of following one's nose wherever it may lead--in life as much as in art.show more

Flap copy

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.show more

Rating details

712 ratings
3.72 out of 5 stars
5 27% (193)
4 30% (217)
3 32% (228)
2 9% (62)
1 2% (12)
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