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Alicia Ayla Yerebakan on The Living Mountain
19 May, 2022
One uses a word when describing the phenomenon of having experienced something in the past that is happening to the self in the now. It is called déjà vu. I have never been to Scotland nor its mountains, but as I read Nan Shepherd’s book, I strongly believe that I fell into this state of mind; a recollection of my own experiences while hiking. It almost felt like hallucinating, but I quickly realised that this increasing pulse within the text was proof of a living mountain.
The painterly description of time, space, and practical context struck me the most. There is no light without darkness, no sense without nonsense, no movement without constancy. Nan beautifully opens the gate to her own worldly sensations, a spectacle unperceived without the reader’s sensual memory.