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Kathleen JamieEssays and Poems on Her work$
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Rachel Falconer

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780748696000

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748696000.001.0001

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‘Connective Leaps’: Sightlines and The Overhaul

‘Connective Leaps’: Sightlines and The Overhaul

(p.134) 13. ‘Connective Leaps’: Sightlines and The Overhaul
Kathleen Jamie

Louisa Gairn

Edinburgh University Press

The Overhaul and Sightlines extend Jamie’s call for attentive, observational writing; what she describes as a “new kind of work that renegotiate[s] our place in the natural world.” This involves not only revisiting our human relationship with “wild” nature, but also acknowledging ourselves as a species with its own natural history: a locus of nature as well as culture. The question of home and belonging is thus an enduring theme in Jamie’s work. Jamie’s keen observations of nature, place and people recognise the limitations as well as the potential of human dwelling in the natural world. Rejecting romanticism, she suggests that while we are certainly capable of appreciating the transcendent in nature, we are also “animal bodies” (Sightlines 5), “a species […] hoping for the marvellous” (The Overhaul 3) who encounter the world through the physical as much as the aesthetic. This chapter considers The Overhauland Sightlines as explorations in ecopoetics, searching for alternative ways of negotiating our relationship with the natural world. These two collections interrogate the writer’s ability to restore a “sense of ourselves as creatures”, the vital element of reconnection with the more-than-human world which Gaston Bachelard identified as one of poetry’s greatest gifts.

Keywords:   Kathleen Jamie, The Overhaul, Sightlines, Ecocriticism, Wild, nature, Literature and the environment

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