White, Kenneth (2013) Ideas of Order at Cape Wrath: Essays, Aberdeen: Reseach Institute of Irish and Scottish Studies, pp.214 + x. ISBN: 978-1-906108-17-5
Kenneth White has been living and working in France since 1968. The founder of the International Institute of Geopoetics and, from 1983 to 1996, Professor of Modern Poetry at the Sorbonne, his poetry, essays and travel writings, published in both French and English, and translated into a wide range of other languages, have won many distinguished prizes.
As in all his essay writing, Ideas of Order at Cape Wrath investigates the intersections between literature, science, philosophy, and the cultural histories which shape individual existence, exploring the many ways in which geopoetics can both illuminate and challenge the world in which we live.
Following in the tracks of intellectual nomads like himself, from Celtic monks moving out across Western Europe to Arthur Rimbaud’s tracks in Abyssinia, White charts a network of cross-connections between explorers of new territories, both physical and psychological. He also sets out to situate his own work in its local, Scottish environment and to see that environment in a cosmic scale, seeking the ‘edge-knowledge’ from which a new paradigm for cultural understanding can emerge.
Ideas of Order at Cape Wrath will confirm White’s reputation as the most important Scottish poet-thinker since Hugh MacDiarmid, and as one of the contemporary world’s most radical intellectuals.