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Helen Macdonald: ‘It is hard to write about the natural world without writing about grief’

Lisa Allardice interviewt Helen Macdonald – 21 augustus 2020 – link

“I am wildness,” she wrote in H Is for Hawk). As in her writing, she expresses herself in easy metaphors (grief is a “submarine”), her conversation a lively tumble of anecdotes, enthusiasm and facts. “I really like to think my subject is love,” she says. “Love of the world and the things in it. And a lot of the things that I love aren’t human. It’s not that I love them in preference to humans; it is just that I notice them and I want to tell everyone about them. I want to yell: ‘Look at this! Look how cool it is. It’s amazing!’”

Her lifetime, she says, has seen the most precipitous decline in nature, with the loss of more than half the world’s large animals and more than 3 billion birds. “We’ve just fallen off a cliff. What do you do when your life is being matched, hour by hour, day by day, with disappearances?” Memories of collecting caterpillars and frogspawn are being denied to children today, not because they are “stuck behind screens” but because nature isn’t as easily found. “It is really really sad.”

De titel zegt natuurlijk al heel veel. Het is precies hoe ik me voel. Hoe kan je genieten van de natuur als je aan alles merkt dat het totaal uit balans is en in slow motion aan het omvallen is?


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