We inhabit a world of more than humans. For life to flourish, we must listen to the calls this world makes on us, and respond with care, sensitivity and judgement. That is what it means to correspond, to join our lives with those of the beings, matters and elements with whom, and with which, we dwell upon the earth. 

In this book, anthropologist Tim Ingold corresponds with landscapes and forests, oceans and skies, monuments and artworks. To each he brings the same spontaneity of thought and observation, the same intimacy and lightness of touch, but also the same affection, longing and care that, in the days when we used to write letters by hand, we would bring to our correspondences with one another. 

The result is a profound yet accessible inquiry into ways of attending to the world around us, into the relation between art and life, and into the craft of writing itself. At a time of environmental crisis, when words so often seem to fail us, Ingold points to how the practice of correspondence can help restore our kinship with a stricken earth.

Show More
Buy Now


Order Exam Copy

For Lecturers Only

More Info
  • November 2020
  • 180 pages
  • 138 x 216 mm / 5 x 9 in
Available Formats
  • Hardback $64.95
  • 9781509544103
  • Paperback $22.95
  • 9781509544110
  • Open eBook $19.95
  • 9781509544127
Table of Contents
Preface and Acknowledgements

Part 1: Tales from the Woods
1.1 Somewhere in Northern Karelia…
1.2 Pitch-black and firelight
1.3 In the shadow of tree being
1.4 Ta, Da, Ça

Part 2: Spitting, Climbing, Soaring, Falling Introduction
2.1 The foamy saliva of a horse
2.2 The mountaineer’s lament
2.3 On flight
2.4 Sounds of snow

Part 3: Going to Ground Introduction
3.1 Scissors paper stone
3.2 Ad coelum
3.3 Are we afloat?
3.4 Shelter
3.5 Doing time

Part 4: The Ages of the Earth Introduction
4.1 The elements of fortune
4.2 A stone’s life
4.3 The jetty
4.4 On extinction
4.5 Three short fables of self-reinforcement

Part 5: Line, Crease and Thread Introduction
5.1 Lines in the landscape
5.2 The chalk-line and the shadow
5.3 Fold
5.4 Taking a thread for a walk
5.5 Letter-line and strike-through

Part 6: For the Love of Words
6.1 Words to meet the world
6.2 In defence of handwriting
6.3 Diabolism and philophilia
6.4 Cold blue steel

Au revoir
About the Author

Tim Ingold is the author of over fifteen books, a fellow of the British Academy and the Royal Society of Edinburgh, and Emeritus Professor of Social Anthropology at the University of Aberdeen.

Show More