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Item #: BK476-110
THE SECRET WORLDS OF COLIN FLETCHER Colin Fletcher 1989 1st ed Hardcover DJ Fine
By Fletcher, Colin
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New York, 1989, 1st edition. 268 pp. Hardcover with dust jacket. Fine condition.

The author of the well-known book The Complete Walker III shares his favorite rambles in Alaska, along the Colorado, and elsewhere, never actually revealing his location because he intends to protect his privacy. Often he doesn't even reveal when he made his trip. Nor does he offer much instruction on walking and camping. Fletcher emphasizes the personal epiphanies of walking, but his book only hums when he confronts fellow campers or observes wildlife, from courting whales to grizzlies to a very determined mouse. Some delicious nuggets can be found amidst the banal philosophizing and tent-pitching.

Secret Worlds is a revealing book centering on spirit of place without revealing the geo-specific location of place. Though we may not know the exact location of a coastal valley somewhere in northern California or southern Oregon, we can sense the joy and exaltation of the author for his secret little valley with spruce and fir and cool, dark cliffs. How does he keep the location secret? By altering ever so slightly descriptive details of a mountain pass or the direction of high, snow-capped peaks.

While there might be a certain amount of frustration for the reader who intends to retrace the author's footsteps, there is no frustration whatsoever for the deconstructionist critic who is sensitive about literary mapping--a process which may lead to the destruction of the place so admired by the author. An extreme deconstructionist stance leads to the condemnation of John Muir's writings on the grounds that they ultimately inspired countless millions of people to come and unwittingly destroy that which Muir describes (like Yosemite Valley). Secret Worlds will certainly not duplicate such a result, but it will, nonetheless, inspire the reader to that which is true, good, and beautiful in nature.


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