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Ce serait également un texte très utile dans des cours avancés de la langue anglaise, dans la psychologie, dans la littérature du voyage en général, et toute étude de l’Écriture
This is one of the books that is partially devoured, put down, to be often revisited. It is one of those five-star books written for writers, but useful to non-writers; it treats an aspect of literature that has become increasingly appreciated by a diverse audience around the world, composed of readers, writers, dreamers, travellers, diarists, film-makers (very much so). It is a workbook, organizing projects and exercises that we can select at random, and re-create when we like.
On the back cover, we read “Electrify Your Writing Through the Mysterious Power of Place”, which she names Genius Loci, that essence that makes a there there, a place (imaginary or real, for the writer and readers) that’s encapsulated or coded to a place both inside and outside of linear time.
Linda Lappin studied at the Iowa Writer’s Workshop and I had the opportunity to study poetry with her. She was a natural, an excellent teacher and this book is a logical step in her career. It’s a credit to years of hard work and publishing career that Lappin has opened even more doors to the “imaginaire” in this paperback jewel for me than she did in that poetry class of long ago. Her exercises ask us to dive deep into our own sense of nuance, the might of a noun, drawing our attention to the fact mythological, legendary, historical, literary precursors strength our sense of place now. Bring it to a tired manuscript in need of that breath of fresh air.
And if you are not writing now, invest in this and enjoy the enriching of your own daily experiences, in your own life narrative. Instructions will introduce you to exercises that include, say (I don’t want to give much away here) a history of a room in a specified house; walking and writing; symbolism within view or ear shot, places that don’t exist or have disappeared, what your dream-stuff is filled with –aspirational or REM-sleeping dreams. The Soul of a Place has a safe place on my bookshelves: a resource I open up where I discover new methods, hone skills and recharge the dynamics of the creative process.
Inspirational ! The book is extremely useful for anyone wishing to explore and/or expand their writing potential and skills. The author, Linda Lappin, an American poet, novelist and travel writer, asks a series of questions man suggest activities that engage, motivate, stimulate and inspire the reader to write. She shows how a a person can use many fields of exploration to write about one’s experiences of “place”. She shows us how such disparate topics as landscape, place names, walking, literature, postcards, history, markets, poetry, political realities, stations, weather, fairy tales, mythology and psychology (and the list is endless) can open our imaginative and creative powers as we express them through the art of writing. She describes how a writer can be a pilgrim who explores spaces - both the sacred and the profane. She speaks of how a writer can be a flâneur, meandering and discovering places. The book is an excellent resource for creative writing courses as well for writers working on their own, discovering the richness of “place”. Anyone who wishes to write or is already writing about their experiences, would do well to add this book to their library as an essential reference work to be devoured in one read or to be read little bits at a time.
I am teaching a college course in Communication & Media about the valued way in which the lens of Place underlies media narratives, community decision-making, tourism, sustainability, conservation, heritage documentation, and even corporate connections to communities and regions through social responsibility. This book was ideal, not only in offering thoughtful and creative exercises, ideas and prompts that touch on so many of the creative and emerging methods of interrogating place (e.g. deep mapping; walking while writing; place-making, among others), but also in weaving authors and their work -- from poets to researchers, essayists to writers -- to background and foreground the prompts more fully. Each section contains enough background information drawn from a variety of sources and authors to more fully illuminate the themes presented, giving readers the opportunity to either read the source included in full, or simply rely on the background that Lappin includes. This really is a gem of a book for teachers, writers, researchers and even crafters of narratives.
Some books we don’t know we need until they drop into our hands. The Soul of the Place: Creative Writing Workbook by Linda Lappin is such a book. Books that have “saved” me from setbacks in my writing career served their purpose: helping me over a temporary hurdle. Lappin’s book feels like a life guide.
If you are a place-conscious writer, rejoice because this book will have you jumping up and down. If you aren’t a place-conscious writer, maybe you should be. By understanding the value place in fiction (and nonfiction), many writing problems can be resolved. Years ago I figured out that my work begins in place, that my characters grow from place. Place, as defined by Lappin, is much more than setting or background. It is genius loci, or “spirit of place.” Her book is also a workbook on personal geography. Many of us are hungry for place and don’t even realize it.
The Soul of Place is divided into five meaty chapters: “Reading the Landscape,” “Places Sacred and Profane—Pilgrims and Flaneurs,” “The House of the Self,” “Eating the Soul of Place—Food Writing,” “Submerged Territories—Writing and the Unconscious.” Each section within a chapter has thought-provoking exercises and a bibliography and every chapter ends with “Final Projects,” even more exercises and projects. The reading lists alone sent me flying to my library.
Whether you are a world-traveler or have never left your county, The Soul of Place will take you on a journey. Although the book is aimed at writers, artists of every stripe can benefit. I’m also a photographer and have marked projects where I’ll use my camera as well as my pen.
As a writer, writing teacher, and someone who wonders where she is in this world, I can’t wait to work through the book, chapter by chapter, exercise by exercise. Because of Lappin’s accessible style, I’ll take the book with me everywhere as inspiration, as a mentor, as a companion.
I was surprised at the quality of this book, and I have read about everything that has to do with spirituality, writing and soul development. This not only helps when I lead my writing group, but also it helps in my writing, traveling and soul development connecting these in new ways. Linda Lappin did a superior job in producing this little book. Loved it!
A splendid and original work that centers on the important skill of description. Take your time, consider the exercises and why they are suggested and then have some fun doing them. This is worth your time just in sharing her enthusiasm for the genius of place. It seems right because it is right.