The Tree

The Tree LC un paginated landscape formatJohn Fowles is widely regarded as one of the preeminent English novelists of the twentieth centuryhis books have sold millions of copies worldwide be

  • Title: The Tree
  • Author: John Fowles Frank Horvat
  • ISBN: 9780316289573
  • Page: 131
  • Format: Hardcover
  • LC 79 89975 un paginated landscape formatJohn Fowles 19262005 is widely regarded as one of the preeminent English novelists of the twentieth centuryhis books have sold millions of copies worldwide, been turned into beloved films, and been popularly voted among the 100 greatest novels of the century To a smaller yet no less passionate audience, Fowles is also knoLC 79 89975 un paginated landscape formatJohn 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 greatest novels 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.

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    About “John Fowles Frank Horvat

    • John Fowles Frank Horvat

      John Robert Fowles was born in Leigh on Sea, a small town in Essex He recalled the English suburban culture of the 1930s as oppressively conformist and his family life as intensely conventional Of his childhood, Fowles said I have tried to escape ever since Fowles attended Bedford School, a large boarding school designed to prepare boys for university, from ages 13 to 18 After briefly attending the University of Edinburgh, Fowles began compulsory military service in 1945 with training at Dartmoor, where he spent the next two years World War II ended shortly after his training began so Fowles never came near combat, and by 1947 he had decided that the military life was not for him.Fowles then spent four years at Oxford, where he discovered the writings of the French existentialists In particular he admired Albert Camus and Jean Paul Sartre, whose writings corresponded with his own ideas about conformity and the will of the individual He received a degree in French in 1950 and began to consider a career as a writer.Several teaching jobs followed a year lecturing in English literature at the University of Poitiers, France two years teaching English at Anargyrios College on the Greek island of Spetsai and finally, between 1954 and 1963, teaching English at St Godric s College in London, where he ultimately served as the department head.The time spent in Greece was of great importance to Fowles During his tenure on the island he began to write poetry and to overcome a long time repression about writing Between 1952 and 1960 he wrote several novels but offered none to a publisher, considering them all incomplete in some way and too lengthy.In late 1960 Fowles completed the first draft of The Collector in just four weeks He continued to revise it until the summer of 1962, when he submitted it to a publisher it appeared in the spring of 1963 and was an immediate best seller The critical acclaim and commercial success of the book allowed Fowles to devote all of his time to writing.The Aristos, a collection of philosophical thoughts and musings on art, human nature and other subjects, appeared the following year Then in 1965, The Magus drafts of which Fowles had been working on for over a decade was published The most commercially successful of Fowles novels, The French Lieutenant s Woman, appeared in 1969 It resembles a Victorian novel in structure and detail, while pushing the traditional boundaries of narrative in a very modern manner In the 1970s Fowles worked on a variety of literary projects including a series of essays on nature and in 1973 he published a collection of poetry, Poems Daniel Martin, a long and somewhat autobiographical novel spanning over 40 years in the life of a screenwriter, appeared in 1977, along with a revised version of The Magus These were followed by Mantissa 1982 , a fable about a novelist s struggle with his muse and A Maggot 1985 , an 18th century mystery which combines science fiction and history.In addition to The Aristos, Fowles wrote a variety of non fiction pieces including many essays, reviews, and forewords afterwords to other writers novels He also wrote the text for several photographic compilations.From 1968, Fowles lived in the small harbour town of Lyme Regis His interest in the town s local history resulted in his appointment as curator of the Lyme Regis Museum in 1979, a position he filled for a decade.Wormholes, a book of essays, was published in May 1998 The first comprehensive biography on Fowles, John Fowles A Life in Two Worlds, was published in 2004, and the first volume of his journals appeared the same year followed recently by volume two.John Fowles died on November 5, 2005 after a long illness.

    965 thoughts on “The Tree

    • This book is a wonderful antidote to those who see nature as a "system" or a "machine" that is somehow apart from us. Fowles sees the natural world instead as a community that we're inextricably bound up with. Trees are companions, even friends. A profound meditation:"The particular cost of understanding the mechanism of nature, of having so successfully itemized and pigeon-holed it, lies most of all in the ordinary person's perception of it, in his or her ability to live with and care for it--a [...]

    • BOSQUESFowles ama los árboles y los bosques. Ese caos verde, como él mismo lo denomina. El bosque, para Fowles, es el desorden, lo salvaje, la libertad, el silencio y el aprender a vivir a otro ritmo, más pausado, atendiendo a lo que sucede, por insignificante que nos parezca. Con él rescaté de mi memoria mis propios bosques. Si te adentras en ellos y permites que te envuelvan descubres que cada bosque es diferente, único. Las pinedas mediterráneas del sur de Menorca, perfumadas de romero [...]

    • Quite an intense read for a relatively short novella. There were some sections that I found a bit daunting, and then I would move to a section that would sing. This is about so much more than trees, but at the same time, it is very essentially about trees. They are Fowles' door into dealing with all he wants to say about nature and man.Will return to complete

    • A John Fowles le gustan los árboles. Mucho. Muchísimo. Lo flipa con ellos. Pero no los árboles en cuanto a entes individuales, con su nombre en latín y su clasificación en una familia, orden y clase.No.A John Fowles le gustan los árboles en cuanto a parte de un bosque, parte de un ecosistema en perpetua simbiósis, parte de la Naturaleza.Porque para él, un gran mal de la sociedad es la "cientificación" de la naturaleza, la necesidad de etiquetarlo todo, con la presunción de que así lo [...]

    • Re-read thoughts /5/16/2015: Came back to this book nearly four years after the initial reading, and after a long trip where I spent a lot of time with some wild trees. I still found it beautiful and touching and wonderful. I also found some sections that challenged me (and that I didn't particularly remember from the first time around.) and that I didn't quite agree with as wholeheartedly as I did when I first read it - but I think that is a good thing! I still recommend this essay fully to any [...]

    • I don’t know how to explain this book. It is a simple book, it is not a simple book, and it can speak for itself. I have never read anything else by John Fowles, and I don’t know when I will, but now I have read this. My brain is fried. This book, this tiny little volume, this tiny little essay, was everything I expected and more, and even more after that. It blew my mind.I saw this book and bought it, though I have 80-something books I need to read. I saw the title and grabbed it, smiled wh [...]

    • An unusual book that seems to go off topic but still manages a good narrative flow. This is an essay that the author feels passionate about. A very curious read.

    • Few British writers of the 20th Century were as shimmering in their prose style as John Fowles, and this, my first attempt at Fowles' nonfiction, was no exception. Every apple, every fluttering leaf counts. While I'm a passionate lover of woods and wild places, and more of a hiker than a gardener in spirit, the thesis statement of his book -- which I'll sum up as "don't analyze it, just feeeeel it, man" -- sounds almost quaint now, even if it does contain a fair bit of wisdom (it's also an idea [...]

    • This is the 30th anniversary edition of John Fowles legendary essay about trees. Or rather, what trees mean in a greater sense than just the biological. At first, I expected this to be similar to Rachel Carson's Silent Spring-both were written decades ago. However, this slim text is more of a set of questions rather than answers. In fact, despite the title, it could be said that trees are just the smallest portion of his purpose."Do we feel that unless we create evidence-photographs, journal ent [...]

    • Regarding John and his father: "The fact that the two branches grow in different directions and ways does not mean that they do not share a same mechanism of need, a same set of deeper rules.""Naming things is always implicitly categorizing and therefore collecting them, attempting to own them; and because man is a highly acquisitive creature, brainwashed by most modern societies into believing that the act of acquisition is more enjoyable than the fact of having acquired, that getting beats hav [...]

    • The essay is a marvelous and thought-provoking meditation on man;s relationship to nature. Despite our attempts to frame nature through art or circumvallate it in a cloistered garden, it remains wild, chaotic, dangerous, and useless. It retains an otherness that defies our abilities to impose human order upon it. It is the ability of the wilderness to stand beyond our understanding, to defy our attempts at categorization, to elude our control that makes it so important. The witness of the wilder [...]

    • John Fowles es el reputado autor de El mago, uno de esos libros que el canon occidental nos obliga a leer antes de morir si queremos alcanzar el estatus de persona culta. Sin embargo, Fowles no solo se dio a la novela, sino que tuvo tiempo de sacar ideas de debajo de las piedras y elaborar con ellas truculentos ensayos como el que recientemente ha rescatado la editorial Impedimenta. En El árbol, Fowles nos relata su infancia en Inglaterra y cómo la obsesión de su padre con la explotación com [...]

    • You never know quite where you are with John Fowles: either he is opening one plot trapdoor after another beneath your feet (The Magus), or he is messing with your willing suspension of disbelief (The French Lieutenant's Woman), or he is doing something else that throws some other assumption of yours into question. And this little book is no different. He has written a book about nature and art that, without ever quite saying so explicitly, asserts that any review or critical assessment of his b [...]

    • Filosofische, op sommige momenten sociologische, benadering van de band tussen mens en woud, mens en boom. Geschreven in de jaren '70 dus op bepaalde vlakken gedateerd, en het toekomstbeeld van Fowles zit er soms ver naast; het is uiteraard veel erger gesteld met de natuur en de manier waarop de mens ermee omgaat dan de auteur 30 jaar geleden voorzag.Soms kostte het wel wat inspanning om mee te gaan in de gedachtegang van Fowles, maar hoe mooi beschrijft hij zijn liefde en eerbied voor het bos, [...]

    • Evoluția a transformat omul într-o creatură a cărei percepție este izolatoare, căci ea privește lumea nu numai antropocentric, ci și individualizat, oglindă a felului în care ne place să ne imaginăm propriile noastre euri. Aproape întreaga artă de dinaintea impresioniștilor - sau a celui care a fost pentru ei un fel de Ioan Botezătorul, William Turner - proclama dragostea noastră pentru contururi clare și identități unice, pentru lucrul individual desprins din neclaritatea fu [...]

    • It would be a violation of The Tree to do much analysis of John Fowles’ wonderful paean to the natural world. The unpruned, unespalliered, untended, natural world. Let the man speak for himself on the subject."It [the uncultivated copse] can be known and entered only by each, and in its now; not by you through me, by any you through any me; only by you through yourself, or me through myself. We still have this to learn: the inalienable otherness of each, human and non-human, which may seem the [...]

    • "Art and nature are siblings, branches of one tree; and nowhere more than in the continuing inexplicability of many of their processes and above all those of creation and of effect on their respective audiences. Our approach to art, as to nature, has become increasingly scientized (and dreadfully serious) during this last century."And so on. Art is just as beautiful and unpredictable as nature is, and every try to learn how to do it or to examine it is just as futile as the labels put on species [...]

    • I didn't ever think I'd find a suitable explanation for the feeling I have about trees—but I have, and it's in this magical book. "The artist's experience here is only a special—unusually prolonged and self-conscious—case of the universal individual one. The return to the green chaos, the deep forest and refuge of the unconscious is a nightly phenomenon, and one that psychiatrists—and torturers—tell us is essential to the human mind. Without it, it disintegrates and goes mad. If I cher [...]

    • 'No religion is the only religion, no church the true church; and natural religion, rooted in love of nature, is no exception. But in all the long-cultivated and economically exploited lands of the world our woodlands are the last fragments of comparatively unadulterated nature, and so the most accessible outward correlatives and providers of the relationship, the feeling, the knowledge that we are in danger of losing; the last green churches and chapels outside the walled civilization and cultu [...]

    • I liked The Tree a great deal, but struggle to rate it (so I'll politely decline) because it's really more of an essay than a book - there isn't really time for it to become weighty or engrossing enough to pick apart (I think Fowles would take that as a compliment). Nevertheless, there are a lot of memorable insights in these pages, all thoughtful and sharply written. I very much connected with some of Fowles's musings, on the old cultivation vs. wild battle, on the alluring mysteries of forests [...]

    • "Este libro de lectura para cualquier estación del año es uno de los pocos ensayos que el autor escribió, y mezcla elementos autobiográficos con un manifiesto ecológico en defensa de la naturaleza salvaje y su experiencia como un arte". Más en capitulocuarto.wordpress/

    • A tribute to nature, especially woods and their influence on art, literature and last but not least, the author himself.

    • This isn't much more than a short essay, but well worth the read if you are interested in the consequences of scientific thinking, and of systemization in particular. Fowles' argument is not against science or taxonomies per se, but that viewing life through its lens comes at a cost both to us and our planet. Almost forty years after it was written, when our ability to judiciously manage all that science has empowered us to do, and when what's possible and what's ethical too rarely occupy the sa [...]

    • I read The French Lieutenant's Woman in college and loved it. The Tree was very stimulating in the first half of the book, but then it got very thick. I tried a couple of times to pick it up again, but couldn't get with it. I am disappointed, mostly in myself, because I doubted I would ever not like his writing. I'll keep it and probably give it another try someday.

    • A really thought provoking essay. A reminder that we don't need to classify everything around us. Some things should be left "wild" so we can just enjoy them for what they are. Having just finished a book on the Native American outlook on how everything is tied in a circle, I could see some of that in this essay. More complex in the writing.

    • “These question-boundaries e ours, not of reality. We are led to them, caged by them not only culturally and intellectually, but quite physically, by the restlessness of our eyes and their limited field and acuity of vision.”

    • A necessary book that every human being should read at least once in life to appreciate others ways of living and our home, the planet.

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