Wednesday, March 11, 2009

England, an elegy

Ideas of race, tribe and religion, which have played a dangerous part in continental politics, have also shaped English identity. But they were qualified and moderated by the concept of home. England was first and foremost a place – though a place consecrated by custom.
–- Roger Scruton
[Sinclair] talks about the poet John Clare, who as a child walked beyond his knowledge, beyond what he knew, only to find that he no longer knew who he was because the birds and the trees didn't know him. "This is what I feel about this landscape. I've walked out into it so often that it accepts me. Bits of stone and river accept me, and I know myself by that. If the landscape changes, then I don't know who I am either. The landscape is a refracted autobiography. As it disappears you lose your sense of self.
-- from a profile of Iain Sinclair.

No comments: