“Romanticized landscape” by Barry Lopez
In his essay, The American Geographies, Lopez deliberates on the essence of nature presented through people’s perception. In particular, the author believes that a romantic vision of the American landscape prevents people from understanding the essence of the real scenery and embraces the overwhelming meaning of nature. According to Lopez, “…to understand geography requires not only time but a kind of local expertise, an intimacy with place few us ever develop” (p. 919).
Sometimes, a glance at prairies is enough to understand their uniqueness and importance for the American people. Indeed, this place is doomed for traveling and for romantic adventures. Notably, the author emphasizes that landscape lives only in people’s memories. It becomes complete and enriched when accompanied by influential legends and romantic stories, bright personifications, and interesting comparisons. The American landscape conveys an image of incomprehensible complexity; the contrasts and discrepancies of natural origin can strike your imagination. Therefore, each person should be prepared before he/she decides to visit these places.
The meaning of the last paragraph of Lopez’s essay
The awareness of historical and cultural background makes the American lands romanticized. It endows them with a sense of reality and idea. As you travel along the West Coast, all you need is to perceive the smell and density of air, the scenes from nature, the temperature, and the pressure of heavy branches. The colors are also impressive. In this respect, Lopez writes, “I would want to know the lay of the land first” before he visits another country or another place (p. 919). Pre-history will help the author to measure the extent to which the information is authentic. Relying on personal senses makes it possible to feel the depths of sayings acutely and compare those with what is envisioned.
Lopez, Barry. “The American Geographies”. In. The Norton Book of Nature Writing. Eds. John Elder and Robert Finch. 2002. Print. pp. 918-923.