You've inspired me to re-read Alan Garner! I remember my dad giving me some to read years ago, and enjoying them. And it is a good time to now share them with my kids

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Jul 19Liked by Dougald Hine

Another marvelous read that, sauna-like, opens my psychic pores leaving me soaking in a marinade of recognition and that connective withinness that animates so much of your writing. I only knew Alan Garner's name, but despite having traveled by different paths, stood on different hilltops, been lost in different thickets, I've been prowling the same geographies. Thank you for introducing me to a fellow traveler whose books will be joining my library.

I'm also chuckling at how, for my final semester at Syracuse in 1973, an impulse that had led me to take classes in the Paleolithic and European Neolithic, ended with the only course on the British Neolithic being taught at an American university that year continues to echo through my life. Six months later, I had landed in Findhorn (happily before the books and tourists) where Stonehenge and Callanish were ports on a psychic network of ley lines along with Iona and Glastonbury.

Ley lines vanished from my rearview mirror long ago, but the perspectives those classes opened up are always at the edges of my awareness. So to read of you flintknapping and learn of Blackden... Well, I've often thought that when we've all finally dug down through all our incarnations we'll discover that we're akin to the Tralfamadorians in Slaugherthouse Five.

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I really enjoyed this, Dougald - thank you. (& will forward to a friend you may already know? - Mat Osmond - I know he'll love it.)

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Thank you. I remember reading Alan Garner as a child and the magical residue it left with me.

I’m taking the phrase ‘the hills will outlast the walls’ to hold and ponder.

I have just finished writing a book about what the UK would be like if you peeled off the nation state and were left with the land. Maybe the reason I was called to do that was because the magical river of Garner’s writing passed through me at the right time.

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I will never forget being forced to read The Owl Service for GCSE English.

"By! There's axiomatic!" declares the farmer of Garner's bucolic valleys.

To a 14 year old - and myself a cuckoo hippy child in rural Mid Wales - the ideology of cultural colonisation was undeniable.

Having returned to learn the language of silence spoken so eloquently by those who farm in real life, I myself aim to find words to write about it now. "It’s a language in which words are the flowering tips of metres-deep tap roots. Maybe not a language of words at all, but of intent.”


We would all do well to listen to the meaning of real farmers' silence.

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"A first-rate academic education often resembles a half-complete shamanic initiation..." I've remained fundamentally uneducated throughout my life (or perhaps "uneducable," or maybe "incorrigible") and this makes me feel better about my condition. maybe an unsuccessful academic initiation is better than a half-finished deprogramming? seems to have landed me in good company, at any rate.

here's to cryptic refugia. what a beautiful image. and thank you, truly, for yet another author to add to the already-teetering pile on my nightstand.

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