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Title: Review of Veronica Strang, 'The Meaning of Water': Oxford and New York: Berg, 2004. Pp.ix,274. ISBN (cloth) 185973748X R.R. Price: $US 84.95. ISBN (paper) 1859737536. RRP $US 28-95
Contributor(s): Ryan, John Sprott (author)
Publication Date: 2004
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Abstract: This new volume is one which, it is clear, will appeal very strongly to folklorists since it is concerned with what may be termed the 'ethnography of water', and with its various cultural meanings. This seemingly impossibly vast topic is, however, focussed on a specific area, the valley of the River Stour in Dorset, England, but it then expands in its treatment to look more at the now hugely controversial issue in the main English-speaking and relatively temperate countries.Why the book is so timely is because of the subject's importance to social and environmental issues, notably that of the relationships - present and future - between the water users and water 'suppliers', the latter the organisations that manage the distribution, cost and quality of this precious commodity. For, as the author stresses at the outset, 'water is the most valuable resource and the most passionately contested'. For drought has become an increasingly extreme problem in many parts of the world and, indeed, it is predicted that sixty% of the major cities in Europe will run short of it in the next decade - for the use seems to expand inexorably due to the appeal of the fluid to age old feelings of the freshness and innocence that its use can confer.
Publication Type: Review
Source of Publication: Australian Folklore, v.19, p. 283-284
Publisher: Australian Folklore Association
Place of Publication: University of New England, Australia
ISSN: 0819-0852
Field of Research (FOR): 200599 Literary Studies not elsewhere classified
HERDC Category Description: D3 Review of Single Work
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