The Geopoetics Review

There is much talk of culture. In the advanced civilisations, it’s becoming the principal topic of discussion. But the mere accumulation of culture leads nowhere. What we lack – beyond all the « deconstructions », beyond all the « post-modernisms » – is a new global context: the horizon of a world. It’s in that area of research (open, not yet defined) that geopoetics is situated.


The first steps on the geopoetic road, at least the first recognized and proclaimed as such, go back to 1979. That year, in a short text published in a little collection, I wrote this: « I’m travelling in the Laurentides, along the North bank of the St. Lawrence, making for the great white space of Labrador, with a new notion in my head: that it’s time to get out of the historical and literary text in order to find the elements of a spatial poetics in which intelligence can flow like a river. It isn’t just a questioning I have in my head. It’s as if something is calling me out. Something that’s lifting me out of my familiar self. A voice, a great anonymous voice, saying the ten thousand things of a new world. It has to begin somewhere. Maybe here, and now. »

Read more: Editorial to Issue N° 1 of The Geopoetics Review

Issue number 1 (Autumn 1990 - out of print)

Editorial by Kenneth White

Frédéric Ibanez : Introduction to the New Topology 

Alain Sournia : The Atoll :­ Geology and Symbolism

Jack Doron : Geopoetics of the Psyche

Georges Amar : The Meaning of the Earth

Kenneth White : In Aquitania

Pierre Minvielle : From the Alps to the Andes­ on the Tracks of the Schematic Signs

Kenneth White : Reflections on a Logbook

Jean Morisset : The Western Sea

Henry Thoreau : Ktaadn 

Michel le Bris : « John Muir, Planet Earth, Universe »

Gary Snyder : The Old Forests of the Californian Sierra

Stéphane Quoniam : A Geographer and Painter in Arizona 

Monchoachi : Manteg 

Jean Morisset : Navigation in the Country of the Grand Insulaire and of our imaginary ancestors of the Grande Rivière Doulce to the Baye de Gouanabara 


Illustrations :

Jack Doron : Painting

Pierre Minvielle : Photography

Stéphane Quoniam : Drawings


Issue number 2 (Autumn 1991 - out of print)


Editorial by Kenneth White


Predrag Matvejevitch : Mappings

Avienus : The Shores of the West

Peter Sutton : The Great Dream : an Australian Vision of the World

Anne Bineau : On the tracks of Carl von Linné :  a writing of the Lapp earth

Jean Morisset : An Antarctic Drift

Augustin Berque : Towards an Ecosymbolism of the Planet

Kenneth White : The Geopoetic Peregrinations of Alexander von Humboldt

Tony Foster : The Grand Canyon Notebooks

Denis Mauclair : Journey in the Alps with Horace-Bénédict de Saussure

Jean-Jacques Wunenburger : Inhabiting Space

Serge Goudin-Thébia : For Unique Wavelength the Unlimitedness of the Ocean

Kenneth White : Finisterra


Illustrations :

Tim Leura Japaljarri : Painting

Timmy Japangardi : Painting

François Righi : Maps

Tony Foster : Watercolours

Serge Goudin-Thébia : Constructions


Issue number 3 (Autumn 1992 - out of print)


Editorial by Kenneth White


Georges Amar : From Surrealism to Geopoetics 

Eric Pistouley : Between the Words Breath Regained, that Confidence

Leo Frobenius : Our Plane of Vision

Alain Jouffroy : Poem Looking East to Yemen 

Daniel Lancereau : The Earth Poetics of Novalis

Jacques Lemoine : The Physionomy and Physiology of Landscape in Chinese Geomancy

Hugh McDiarmid : The North Face of Liathach

Robert Bréchon : The Landscapes of Fernando Pessoa

Anne Bineau : Chateaubriand and the Northwest Passage

Kenneth White : Karl Bodmer’s American Landscapes

Jean Morisset : After Five Centuries of America and the Caribbean

Vincent-Marc Karénine : The Breaks of Nebraska

Kenneth White : Logos Amerikanos 


Illustrations : 

Eric Pistouley : Sketches

Patricia McDonald : Photographs 

Karl Bodmer : Paintings


Issue number 4 (Autumn 1994)


Editorial by Kenneth White 


Jean-Pierre Pinot : The Panoceanic Projection : Poetics of a Cartography

Kenneth White : The Atlantic Shore — A letter on the origins of geopoetics

Jean-Jacques Wunenburger : The Fold and the Phase : towards a World in Resonance

Bernard Allanic : Between River and Mountain: an Approach to the World of the Naxi

Jean Morisset : Geographies, Geographies

Jean-Paul Auxeméry : Maximus at Work, or the Depth of the Field

Georges Amar : Cursive Notes on the Enjoyment of Existence, the Grace of Appearances, the Geopoetic Art, and that Wild Fellow Marcel Duchamp …

Marie-Claude White : Wave and Void

Emmanuel Fillot : Maps of the Western Shores

Michel Moy : The Aesthetics of Extension

Kenneth White : Low Tide at Landrellec 


Illustrations :

Marie-Claude White : Photographs 

Emmanuel Fillot : Assemblages

Michel Moy : Paintings


Issue number 5 (Autumn 1996)


Editorial by Kenneth White


Kenneth White : Open Perspectives — Biology, sociology, geopoetics

Johann Wolfgang Goethe : Introduction to a Morphology

Bertrand Lévy : A Tribute to Dardel

Jean-Pierre Portmann : The Geopoetics of C. F. Ramuz

Laurent Margantin : Sites and Horizons

Eric Waddell : « Blood in the Tanoa »…

Jean Morisset : Between Freebooting and Literature

Sam Selvon : Return to Trinidad

Virginia Khuri : Alaska Diary

Kenneth White : Images from Saint-Kilda

Jack Doron : Space and Breath

Anne Bineau : Beachcombing

Michel Lagrange : On the Banks of the Nile


Illustrations :

Virginia Khouri : Photographs.

Liz Ogilvie : Mixed Techniques.

Jack Doron : Watercolors.


Issue number 6 (Spring 2008)


Editorial by Kenneth White


Jules Michelet : From Human history to Natural History

Vassili Golovanov : Khlebnikov and the Birds

Tim Robinson : The Curvature of the Earth

Christian Wacrenier : Mikhael Prichvine’s Poetics of the Earth

Denys Mauclair : Shoreline Reconnaissance

Kenneth White : Letters from Belle-Île 

Eric Waddell : John Wolseley’s Cartographic Painting

Kenneth White : The Geopoetics of Provence

Laurent Margantin : Goethe on the Road

Alexandre Gillet : At the Mountain Pass

Lionel Seppoloni : Paths in the Alps

Stéphan Aubriet : Two Geopoetic Moments

Jean Morisset : News from the Polar Area

Kenneth White : Around the Fournaise Volcano

Michel Le Parc : The Rampart of Cyclones


Illustrations :

John Wolseley : Mixed Techniques



Contents of the Symposium Series


The Geography of culture - Space, Existence, Expression

Nîmes Symposium (October 1991 - out of print)


Presentation of the Symposium by Kenneth White 

Serge Velay : Undo the Hexagon 

Jean-Paul Dollé : Urban Civilisation or Barbary

Bertrand Lévy : ­ Geopoetics and Humanist Geography

Jean-Jacques Wunenburger : The Desert and the Cosmo-poetic Imagination

Peter Sutton : Art and Earth in the Culture of the Australian Aborigines

Homero Aridjis : A Message from Mexico

Jacques Lemoine : The Space of the Forest

Kenneth White : A Morning on the Strand


The Other America or Outside the States


Nîmes Symposium (October 1992)


Presentation of the Symposium by Kenneth White 

Richard Vernier : Jean Nicolet’s Dress 

Philippe Jacquin : The Free Men

Eric Waddell : « I hate America… and yet! »

Jean Morisset : The Laughter of the Amadjouak

Hector Loaïza : In Praise of Miscegenation

Michel Perrin : From the Shaman to the Artist

Mike Tucker : Rainbow Bridge Blues 

Monchoachi : Words-that-talk

Kenneth White : Atlantis, America, Atopia

Geopoetics and the Plastic arts (1999)

(In association with the University of Aix-en-Provence)


Kenneth White : Letter from the Geopoetic Studio

Jean-Jacques Wunenburger : Art, Psyche, Cosmos

Franck Doriac : The Aesthetics of the Outside

Khalil M'Rabet : The In-between /Another Location

Reno Salvail : The Light of Stones

Serge Goudin-Thébia : Between Caravelle and Grand'Rivière, followed by The Island, my Home

François Méchain : Landscape, a sine qua non?

Emmanuel Fillot : The Art of assemblage

Jean Arrouye : Geosophia

Michel Guérin : A. Leroi-Gourhan or The Primacy of Matter

Jean Clareboudt : Real Sitology, Some Reflections

Yannick François : Walk, Look, Make

Marie-Claude White : Natural Art or Artefact — Photography as connivence

Jean-Paul Loubes : Architecture and Geopoetics

Georges Amar : The Laboratory of Applied Geopoetics

It’s to a kind of great transcontinental and intellectual drift I want to invite the reader-searcher, involving culture and geopoetics. In the course of it, we shall, I hope, set foot ashore on some interesting islands. With the idea, not of discovering or creating a « New World », but of sketching the contours of a new world-text, perhaps a new world-context.


1. The Cultural Crisis

Let’s start off from a certain historical consciousness, the general sense of a crisis in culture that everyone feels in various degrees, according to different tonalities.


I’ll refer first to two letters on The Crisis of the Mind written by Paul Valéry, and which appeared first in English, in 1919, before appearing in their original French five years later:


« We civilisations know now that we are mortal… We have heard of worlds disappearing lock, stock and barrel, of empires sinking to the bottom with all their men and all their works, all their gods and all their laws, their academies, their pure and applied sciences, their grammars, their dictionaries, their classics, their romantics, their symbolists, their critics, and the critics of their critics… But these shipwrecks, after all, weren’t our affair. Elam, Nineveh, Babylon were fine old names, and the total ruin of these works meant no more to us than the fact of their existence. But France, England, Russia… they too could be fine old names… We see now that the abyss of history is big enough for everybody. »


Read more: Atlantis, America, Atopia

I gave up long ago thinking in terms of national culture, and I’ve never had any confidence in what has been called the « progress » of history. I think rather in terms of focal points, energy sources, scattered across place and time, like islands, islets, in an archipelago. One of the most interesting of those focal points in Europe and the world developed in Provence between say, the end of the tenth and the middle of the fourteenth century, between the creation of the poem on Boethius (Lo Poema de Boecis) and the foundation, at Toulouse, in 1323, of the Consistory of Joyous Knowledge (Consistori del Gai Saber). What I want to do here is explore the original energies of this focal point, examine its constitution and its extension, consider possible prolongations of its teachings. As with all such explorations in my work, my interest in Provençal culture is not only retrospective, it is projective.

Read more: The Geopoetics of Provence
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