Arctic Dreams (Magill's Literary Annual 1987)
As terrestrial frontiers go, the circumpolar regions have long been man’s most formidable and mysterious. In Arctic Dreams: Imagination and Desire in a Northern Landscape, Barry Lopez, whose earlier writings about nature, in such books as Desert Notes: Reflections in the Eye of a Raven (1976), Of Wolves and Men (1978), River Notes: The Dance of Herons (1979), and Winter Count (1981), have won for him enthusiastic plaudits, focuses on the northern circumpolar regions, particularly the area between the Bering Strait and the Davis Strait.
Lopez, who has made several trips to the Arctic, has observed his sources closely and recorded the fruits of his observations meticulously. He has also done extensive research on the Arctic at the Arctic Institute of North America in Calgary, Alberta, and the results of his research are, in particular, detailed in the last chapters of the book. These chapters focus on the various expeditions that have through the centuries explored this frozen landscape.
Lopez handles his materials with the meticulous care of a scientist, with the visual sensitivity of a painter, with the cadences and insights of a poet, and with the ingenuous awe of a man to whom the Arctic has revealed wonders that border on the religious. His first-person narrative is deceptively casual, disarmingly nonchalant; its flow and its careful use of language remind one of the best of E. B. White’s...
(The entire section is 1748 words.)
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Bibliography (Magill's Literary Annual 1987)
Booklist. LXXXII, January 1, 1986, p. 643.
Business Week. April 14, 1986, p. 20.
Choice. XXIII, May, 1986, p. 1390.
Christian Science Monitor. LXXVIII, March 7, 1986, p. 22.
Kirkus Reviews. LIV, February 1, 1986, p. 188.
Library Journal. CXI, March 1, 1986, p. 102.
The New York Times Book Review. XCI, February 16, 1986, p. 1.
The New Yorker. LXII, March 17, 1986, p. 110.
Publishers Weekly. CCXXIX, January 24, 1986, p. 65.
Time. CXXVII, March 10, 1986, p. 74.
(The entire section is 52 words.)