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On Extinction: How We Became Estranged from Nature

On Extinction: How We Became Estranged from Nature [Kindle Edition]

Melanie Challenger

Kindle-Preis: EUR 10,51 Inkl. MwSt. und kostenloser drahtloser Lieferung über Amazon Whispernet

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How do we think about the things we have lost? How can we use what we know about extinctions – cultural, biological and industrial – to reconnect with nature?

In Cornwall, hiking around the half-buried ruins of an old tin mine, Melanie Challenger started to think about the things that have disappeared from our world. When the gigantic bones of mammoths were first excavated from the Siberian permafrost in the eighteenth century, scientists were forced to consider a terrifying possibility: many species that had once flourished on the Earth no longer existed. For the first time, humans had to contemplate the idea of extinction.

Challenger became fascinated by this idea, and started to consider how we think about the things we have lost, and, indeed, how we come to lose them. From our destruction of the natural world to the human cultures that are rapidly dying out, On Extinction is a passionate exploration of these disappearances and why they should concern us. Challenger asks questions about how we’ve become destructive to our environment, our emotional responses to extinctions, and how these responses might shape our future relationship with nature. She travels to the abandoned whaling stations of South Georgia, the melting icescape of Antarctica and the Inuit camps of the Arctic, where she traces the links between human activities and environmental collapse. On Extinction is an account of Challenger's journey that brings together ideas about cultural, biological and industrial extinction in a beautiful, thought-provoking and ultimately hopeful book.

Über den Autor

MELANIE CHALLENGER is the author of an award-winning first collection of poems, Galatea, and co-author, with Zlata Filipovic, of Stolen Voices, a history of twentieth century conflict compiled through war diaries. During her research for On Extinction, she was a Fellow of the AHRC Centre for the Evolution of Cultural Diversity at University College London and International Fellow at the British Antarctic Survey for International Polar. Her work was also a recipient of the British Council Darwin Awards.


  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • Dateigröße: 1925 KB
  • Seitenzahl der Print-Ausgabe: 364 Seiten
  • ISBN-Quelle für Seitenzahl: 1847081878
  • Verlag: Granta Books (6. Oktober 2011)
  • Verkauf durch: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Sprache: Englisch
  • ASIN: B005OQ4CIQ
  • Text-to-Speech (Vorlesemodus): Aktiviert
  • X-Ray:
  • Amazon Bestseller-Rang: #153.286 Bezahlt in Kindle-Shop (Siehe Top 100 Bezahlt in Kindle-Shop)

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Die hilfreichsten Kundenrezensionen auf (beta) 4.2 von 5 Sternen  6 Rezensionen
6 von 6 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen Extinctions -- hope or despair? 19. Dezember 2012
Von David H. Vonseggern - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe|Verifizierter Kauf
Melanie Challenger's first prose book ("On Extinictions") is a wonderful read. Let me begin by saying what it is not. It is not a strident siren song beckoning action on the issue of species extinctions, not an objective nor a coherently crafted argument for reevaluation of humans' interaction with nature. In comparison with, say, with Rachel Carson's Silent Spring, it is only a soft brush of reality. The subtitle is not effectively described or argued at all. Yet, the author manages to make the point in a remarkably compelling manner, and the overall effect is soul chilling. She treats not just species extinctions, but extinctions of languages, of cultures, of industries, and of livelihoods. She does this by probing deeply into her own past experiences, beginning with her youthful forays in Cornwall, and continuing to her recent excursions to the polar regions. Along with that, she weaves seamlessly into her discourse the observations and thoughts of innumerable past authors, from the ancient Greeks to the writers of recent decades. Clearly the author is well read, and she easily draws on the contributions of others even though she seems to be able to see things with a thousand pairs of eyes herself. The early chapters are narrative, often in a seemingly florid prose which may not appeal to all -- consider, for example: "MIsts moved against the still hedges, slow exhalations of the failing day." But within this, slowly a thesis builds as the author leads us from the fallow pastures of Cornwall through the hulks of the whaling industry in the southern ocean and finally into the native people's lands of far northern Canada. Along the way, we are presented with the parallel between human's extinction of species and of culture and language, even our own in cases. Although our estrangement from nature is not directly argued or treated, it is adequately revealed by example. It is not clear from this book whether that is indeed a good or bad development. It seems that humans left a very poor record on species, and other, extinctions when they were well connected to nature. Perhaps our estrangement from nature will allow us a perspective by which effective action can be deployed and cultural changes made to arrest extinctions. This is a book which should draw the reader to think along with the author. In all the extinction narrative, the author continually points to the nostalgia that humans feel for things lost and destroyed. For this reviewer, a true nostalgia will be simply: the first reading of Challenger's book in the cold, gray days of December.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen Living in Place 26. Januar 2013
Von Stephen W. Arkle - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Kindle Edition|Verifizierter Kauf
Teaching texts that deal with living in the environment over the past years, this one certainly shows what happens when we move too far from nature in the spaces we live. Thoughtful with wonderful analogies and allusions.
5.0 von 5 Sternen A welcome juxtaposition 14. November 2013
Von Jonathan Balcombe - Veröffentlicht auf
There is something haunting about this book. Perhaps it is the unusual but welcome juxtaposition of passages of exquisite prose with more prosaic narratives of the author’s travels. Maybe it is that the theme of extinction is such a somber one. Whatever the reason, it is a rewarding read, and a journey worth taking.
5.0 von 5 Sternen ...what a concise book! 7. Juni 2013
Von Penny Reilly - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Kindle Edition|Verifizierter Kauf
...I have always loved this kind of writing and the depth Ms Challenger goes to in her descriptive style will appeal to those who are simply, mildly curious to the science -v- spirituality of our fragile planet ...wonderful book!
5.0 von 5 Sternen An appreciation and reverence for nature 6. Februar 2013
Von Nora Stanley - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
While reading On Extinxtion, by Melanie Challenger I kept going back to my encounters with nature. While you embark to Whitby, Cornwall and Artic with the author my mind took me to Northern Michigan's forests and bogs and to Florida's scrub and springs. How to cultivate that wonder and elation you feel when an unknown bird flies by or by the beauty of a stand of trees? Ms. Challenger elegantly describes this in detail. To cultivate this in others is to posess this yourself and to share your knowledge and appreciation, which I am sure she is with her son and has with this novel. Well done.
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