A Feeling for Rock by Sarah-Jane Dobner
A Feeling for Rock by Sarah-Jane Dobner


A Feeling for Rock by Sarah-Jane Dobner

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Do we function by these hierarchies - summit over foothills, grades over enjoyment, human over non-human (we can drill the cliff, it doesn’t have any feelings)? Throughout this book, questions are asked, assumptions are challenged and overlooked aspects of the sport are foregrounded.

A Feeling for Rock is a collection of poetry, cartoons, essays, weavings, photographs and technical tips, touching on multiple topics including touch, injury, community, ethics, landscape and language. There are verbatim interviews with a handful of committed devotees - including Johnny Dawes, Mina Leslie-Wujastyk and Jesse Dufton - alongside beginners experiencing their first day on plastic.

Chapters are headed by the many different feelings - joy, pain, comedy, pride, fear, surprise, tenderness and geekery, among others - which lie at the core of a climbing life. These feelings are non-exhaustive, non-hierarchical and non-linear. They flit, and change, and clash - just as they do on the rock.

The aim is to convey the feeling of climbing, embodying the experience, what happens at your fingertips and in your gut. It can be read from cover to cover, or dipped into at whim. Being full of pictures and soft to the touch, it’s also a really nice book to hold in your hands.

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