A favourite four-character phrase in Chinese is biao li ru yi meaning something like ‘surface-inside-as-one’, in other words being what you seem, which is to say, authentic.  It soon presented itself as an essential component of a nuannaarpoq manifesto. 

Here Adam Nicolson highlights a hunger for authenticity of place in his book on Sissinghurst, the gardens he was born to, now run by the National Trust.  This appetite for authenticity is echoed by James Rebanks as he endeavours to preserve a way of life that may not align with the latest management ideas on efficiency. 

People had a growing hunger for authenticity and the enriched place.  The enormous proliferation in the modern world of slickly and thinly communicated meanings had generated a demand for the opposite, for the sense when you arrived somewhere that not only did this look wonderful but was wonderful, that it wasn’t just a skin. 

 

Source: Adam Nicolson, Sissinghurst: An unfinished history (London: Harper Press, 2009), p. 109

Photo credit: ZimZamZulu at pixabbay

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