Reading this amazing Robert McFarlane article recently has left me pondering a lot of things. Do go and read it – it’s a beautiful, inspiring piece about representations of landscape. Eerie landscape, specifically.
It made me realise that as a Druid author, I talk a fair bit about connecting with nature, and yet as a fiction author, I am much more drawn to writing nature as a hostile, creepy, dangerous place. www.hopelessmaine.com would be a case in point. Is that contradictory?
Looking at the narrative landscapes McFarlane references, I realise these are places I am deeply attracted to. Mythago Wood could cheerfully join the list, too. I think this is because I want nature to be a scary place. I want it to be dangerous, unpredictable, wild, and full of things that might kill you. The sanitised, safe ‘nature’ that is just pretty to look at and poses no threat at all has, in the absence of its teeth and claws, far less scope to inspire awe. Creepy and malevolent landscapes put people back in their place, and take away the illusion of control that has made us so damaging to every living thing.