Michael Pollan and The Idea of Garden
Including historical and current issues and giving several genres, ‘The Idea of a Garden’ challenges people to investigate more attentively the variety of environments that we are surrounded by, the complication features of those environments, and our attitude to them.
Michael Pollan is a prolific writer. He is living at an old farm in Cornwall Bridge, Connecticut. Michael Pollan is the author of many interesting and brilliant books, such as ‘Second Nature: A Gardener’s Education’, ‘A Place of My Own: The Education of an Amateur Builder’, ‘The Botany of Desire: A Plant’s-Eye View of the World’ and ‘The Idea of a Garden’.
The book consists of stories where people retell what they have heard. Including historical and current issues and giving several genres, ‘The Idea of a Garden’ challenges people to investigate more attentively the variety of environments that we are surrounded by, the complication features of those environments, and our attitude to them.
In his book Michael Pollan proposes a metaphor that is appropriate to the environment issues – a nature as a garden. For Pollan gardening is not only the very act of this action but it is also the interaction with the nature and its sources. This kind of a metaphor gives local answers according to local conditions. This notion assumes anthropocentrism as inevitable process, while accepting people’s interdependence with life, health and survival. Moreover, it values other life forms’ wildness, for example, the wildness of water, air and soil. People interact with the nature and have ‘misunderstandings’ with it. In other words, this battle could be won or could be lost. Everything depends on the humanity – on the moderate usage of land resources, on the attentive approach to environmental issues and timely solutions.
The garden metaphor makes the demarcation between the intervention of humanity and the nature intervention giving examples of the second one for creating the balance in nature. However, Michael Pollan points out the significance of culture as a phenomenon and as a part of the garden preservation. This is the culture, which is used for teaching people how to live in harmony with nature, how to share the experience of past generations. It has its history in which there are numbers of mistakes that we should remember and avoid for making this world a garden of nature.
Summarizing, our land is a garden, which must be protected. This underlines the necessity for conservationists to be more serious in the issues of protecting wildlife and natural habitat and to present their ideas to a wide audience.
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