Geography and the Art of Life
Johns Hopkins University Press, 2004 - Biography & Autobiography - 122 pages
In Geography and the Art of Life, geographer Edmunds Bunkse fuses the exterior landscape of his life with wrenching, and poetic, impressions of his World War II childhood to create a stunning narrative that explores an intimate geosophy -- the humanistic geography of place, heart, subjective, expressive, and literary evocations of the individual's place in the world -- this unique work illuminates major themes in geography and history through autobiography.
As a child of war and exile, Bunkse writes, he had to develop an early awareness of the meanings of home and homelessness. Born in Latvia in 1935, he and his family first evaded deportation to Siberia in 1941. In 1944 they fled by sea ahead of advancing Soviet troops -- and certain deportation to Siberia. Upon landing in Gdansk, they were imprisoned in a German labor camp. In flight once more at war's end, the family was settled in a displaced-persons camp in Lubeck before finally emigrating to America in 1950. During this sojourn, Bunkse lived in the shadow of communism and nazism; he drifted dreamily on a raft in the Baltic sea; and he cowered by the road, a boy on a mission to fish in a nearby stream, waiting for the terrifying thunder of German tanks to pass. These and other haunting memories give exceptional power to the author's exploration of humanistic geography.
Weaving autobiography together with classic works in geography, literature, and art, Bunkse explores such fundamental concepts as home, road, place, and landscape in light of his own remarkable experiences in the world. An original contribution to the study of geography, Geography and the Art of Life is also a compelling human story of impossible departures and unexpected arrivals.
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Learning about Landscapes
You Cannot Go Home Again
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