This book, written by a couple of poets takes you to all those places that only mappers have visited repeatedly to lovingly survey and map every detail. Edgelands addresses all those betwixt-and-between places that aren’t really urban and aren’t really rural and are certainly not loved or cared-for. They’re the kind of places we hurry through to get somewhere else or the kind of places that we just don’t acknowledge exist at all. You know the kind of places: brownfield sites, abandoned parking lots, sewage plants, power plants, abandoned construction sites, out-of-town shopping malls and industrial estates after hours. The poets talk about them reverentially and find a stark and melancholy beauty there.
The bookjacket blurb puts it excellently:
“Edgelands explores a wilderness that is much closer than you think: a debatable zone, neither the city nor the countryside, but a place in-between – so familiar it is never seen for looking. Passed through, negotiated, un-named, ignored, the edgelands have become the great wild places on our doorsteps, places so difficult to acknowledge they barely exist”.
But us mappers have been there and struggled with all their idiosyncrasies and even dynamism as they change use, in our quest to leave no white space on the map. Enjoy a different perspective of these places.
ISBN 978-0224-08902-9 published by Jonathan Cape