Magazine article Geographical

60 Degrees North: Around the World in Search of Home

Magazine article Geographical

60 Degrees North: Around the World in Search of Home

Article excerpt

60 DEGREES NORTH: Around the World in Search of Home

by Malachy Tallack; Polygon; 12.99 [pounds sterling] (hardback)

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

One of the points of his journey, writes Malachy Tallack, was the certainty of its destination: by following the 60th parallel he would inevitably end where he started, home in Shetland. This seemed a useful way of resolving his problematic relationship with an island on which he had lived from an early age, but always as an outsider. It's no surprise, then, that the places he encounters on his round-trip provide echoes of his dislocation, from the 'non-human disorder' of Greenland, where 'the line that separates nature and culture has been erased', to a Canada in which he finds a version of the north patched together from the histories of those who have left the south. But Tallack discovers that those who accept the constraints of geographical remoteness engage with their environment in a way that city dwellers don't; engage, too, with each other--here, a sense of community is not really optional: remoteness has exposed human vulnerability, and 'any other way of living would be destructive'. …

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