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The Practice of the Wild: Essays by Gary…
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The Practice of the Wild: Essays (1990)

by Gary Snyder

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Gary Snyder was part of the beat generation, but unlike his contemporaries who gravitated more towards fiction, throughout his life, he wrote poetry and essays reflecting on nature, and has worked as an activist attempting to preserve the forest for our bodies and minds. Snyder's story is unusual, because before he became an eco-activist and poet, he worked in logging, fastening cables to pre-cut logs in order to remove them from the forest. It is because of his perspective that Snyder's arguments in Practice of the Wild is so grounded. Using a combination of Zen Buddhism and his background studying ecology and anthropology he argues for the love of nature and issues a warning in terms of population growth, deforestation, and pollution, and states the spirit of man lies in nature. From the viewpoint of conservatives, many of his opinions may come off as hippie-dippie, but being someone who is often skeptical of radical perspectives, I have to say that his arguments come off as well-researched, from the soul, and fairly level-headed. I would recommend educators to use this book within the canon of the beat generation though it was published rather later (around 1990). It serves as a great non-fiction supplemental reading to some of the more abstract works made the beats such as Ginsberg and Ferlinghetti's poetry and Kerouac and Burroughs' stream-of-consciousness and cut-up, respectively, novels. ( )
  dhut0042 | Apr 26, 2013 |
Both a poet and a philosopher, Snyder has proved to be a find and a keeper!

Starting into poerty in the 1950's Beatnik Movement, Snyder, in the '60s, studied Zen-Buddism for several years in Japan and returned to the US to homestead in the Sierra Nevadas of California.

In short, he was always out to discover just how to be in the world,
and succeded, to the benefit of many readers here and in other countries. ( )
1 vote TnPeters | Aug 22, 2010 |
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This book is for Carole on the trail
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One June afternoon in the early seventies I walked through the crackly gold grasses to a neat but unpainted cabin at the back end of a ranch near the drainage of the South Yuba in northern California.
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