Drew Lanham's essay is entitled "Bartram on Blacktop."
Bartram?s Living Legacy: the Travels and the Nature of the South reprints Bartram?s classic work alongside essays acknowledging the debt southern nature writers owe the man called the ?South?s Thoreau.? The book was nominated for the Georgia Author of the Year Award.
The anthology includes contributions from sixteen of the South?s finest nature writers: Bill Belleville, Kathryn Braund, Dixon Bynum, Christopher Camuto, Thomas Rain Crowe, Dorinda Dallmeyer, Doug Davis, Jan DeBlieu, Whit Gibbons, Thomas Hallock, John Lane, Drew Lanham, Roger Pinckney, Janisse Ray, Matt Smith, and Gerald Thurmond, strikingly illustrated with Bartram-inspired landscape paintings by Philip Juras.
Book Review #1:
that once defined the southern landscape have disappeared, as
though some cataclysmic geological event had simply obliterated
them. We know of them chiefly through William Bartram's Travels
published in 1791. It would be about two centuries before a group
of southeastern writers/naturalists/activists began to survey the
landscape that we are left with, and to think about the
consequences of what has been lost, and the power, beauty, and
richness of what remains. Dorinda Dallmeyer, the editor of this
wonderfully conceived volume, has been at the center of that
group. Her idea of combining the text of the Travels with
reflections by contemporary southern writers is a brilliant one.
Bartram remains an indispensable writer, whose work has been
neglected for too long. Now at last he, his book, and the land he
describes have their champions. Some of the essayists here
focus on Bartram the man, some on Bartram the naturalist, some on
Bartram the writer and artist. And some focus, as he himself had
done, on the landscape and ecology of the South as it now is, and
as it once was.
Some of the essayists in this book I have known and admired for
years; some are entirely new to me. They do not speak with one
voice, or on behalf of any preconceived agenda. But their
contributions, taken all together, indicate that the South now has
its own distinctive tradition of environmental literature.
Bartram, not Emerson, Thoreau, Muir, or John Burroughs, is its
progenitor, and this book, I believe, will come to be seen as its