The practice of the wild : essays

by Gary Snyder

Paperback, 1990




San Francisco : North Point Press, 1990.


Gary Snyder has been a major cultural force in America for five decades. Future readers will come to see this book as one of the central texts on wilderness and the interaction of nature and culture. The nine essays in The Practice of the Wild reveal why Snyder has gone on to become one of America's cultural leaders, comprehending things about our world before they were ever discussed in public. With thoughts ranging from political and spiritual matters to those regarding the environment and the art of becoming native to this continent, this collection of essays, first published in 1990, reflect the mature centerpiece of the author's work and thought.

User reviews

LibraryThing member TnPeters
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
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discover just how to be in the world,
and succeded, to the benefit of many readers here and in other countries.
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LibraryThing member dhut0042
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,
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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.
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LibraryThing member kcshankd
More good advice. Unfortunately things have not improved since 1990. Needed more than ever. Inscribed copy, purchased used at Powell's.
LibraryThing member mykl-s
We humans are part of nature. We are part of the wild. Wilderness is different, and hard to find. Snyder believes a sense of place and a feeling towards home is important.



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