The Forms of Water: in the land and in the soul

Jeff Malpas


Water, its presence or absence, and the forms in which it appears, is fundamental to any and every place on earth. Indeed, along with soil, air and light, water is elemental to place, and so also to all life and dwelling in place. Moreover, human life is itself essentially determined through its entanglement in place and places, and so is constituted, if indirectly, perhaps, through water and its forms. The centrality of place that I am alluding to here arises out of a conception of the relation between human being and place, according to which who and what we are is fundamentally determined by the places in which we live – and this is so even while places are also shaped by the lives that are formed within them.

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