Culture and Nature, Road and Wilderness. The Ecology of Myth
ISBN: 978-2-87457-039-1
9,50 €

Culture and Nature, Road and Wilderness. The Ecology of Myth

= Paper =
 
This paper looks at human attempts to understand and then to “order” the natural world, with special attention to “the road through the wood.” The following topics come into view: the (European) Wood and (vs.) formal shapes (“natural” pathway and purposeful, communicative road, also the “sacred way” and the post-road or military road); surrounding ‘wild’ space and its inhabitants (wild animals, supernatural beings, feral humans, possibly the Daemonic, certainly the Sacred); modes, companies, vehicles (travel, pilgrimage, mercantile efforts); blocks and barriers (river, ford, bridge, ferry); the face of hospitality (the inn – and the enemy/stranger/guest); goals and symbolic nodes (here and there, mobility and stability, the market’s meanings); finality (time, the ‘Romantic’ road – and the Road to Death. Sources include Scandinavian and Celtic narratives, folktales, and insights drawn from D. Bynum and V. Turner, among others (including J. R. R. Tolkien).