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For Love of the World

Essays on Nature Writers

Sherman Paul

Publication Year: 1992

Along with poets, philosophers, and deep ecologists, nature writers—who may be something of all three—address the world alienation of Western civilization. By example as well as with words, they teach us to turn from the self to the world, from ego to ecos.In these deeply felt meditative essays, Sherman Paul contemplates the cosmological homecoming of nature writers who show us how to reenter the world, participate in it, and recover respect for it.
In For Love of the World Sherman Paul considers Thoreau, John Muir, and Aldo Leopold, major writers in the American tradition of nature writing; Henry Beston and Loren Eiseley, writers not yet so canonical; and Richard Nelson and Barry Lopez, our estimable contemporaries.
Paul's meditative mode follows the practice of naturalists who enter the field, come into the open, and relate their immediate experiences. In the most primary and direct way, his essays belong to our moment in history when nothing is more essential than our reattachment to earthly existence. They will reawaken our love of the world—the necessary eros of ecos—and our wonder at and gratitude for being.

Published by: University of Iowa Press

Title Page, Copyright Page

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pp. iii-iv


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p. v-v

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pp. vii-x

These essays treat the standing problem of our relatedness to nature that Emerson, thinking of his own work in the great succession of thought, said "has exercised the wonder and study of every fine genius since the world began." Nature writers are their subject because they now have a certain exemplarity whose increasing ...


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Thinking with Thoreau

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pp. 3-12

You must change your life. (Du musst dein Leben ändern.) Rilke says this on beholding an archaic statue of Apollo, on recognizing the summons-the imperative--of ancient Greece. But I make it almost as soon as I turn on to Route80 and begin the journey north. (Adding north now reminds me of Basho. For ...

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From Walden Out

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pp. 13-21

"We wished to associate with the Ocean until it lost the pond-like look it wears to a countryman." This remark in the penultimate chapter of Cape Cod reiterates the opening paragraph of the book and shows how far the excursion has advanced. The essential act involves sight, the look of things, or, if you will, a change ...

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Three Reviews

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pp. 22-33

This quiet, well-mannered book turns on two related arguments, two by virtue of the fact that natural history involves the methods of both science and history and, as an inquiry, includes historical material (antiquities, local lore). But since the arguments concern Thoreau's attitudes toward science and history, they ...


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The Husbandry of the Wild

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pp. 37-53

Forewords are usually last words, commentary on the work done. In respect to what has been accomplished they are placed first in order to open the text, to provide a way in. It seems appropriate, then, in talking about A Sand County Almanac, to begin with AIdo Leopold's introductory sentences, to hear ...

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Aldo Leopold's Counter-Friction

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pp. 54-63

The centenary of AIdo Leopold's birth has given "the most significant conservationist of the last seventy years" (Stephen Fox, on the dust-jacket of Curt Meine's Aldo Leopold: His Life and Work) more than usual notice and added substantially to the scholarship concerning his life and thought. ...


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Making the Turn: Rereading Barry Lopez

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pp. 67-107

We are back (yes, back) at Wolf Lake-have been for ten days, long laboring days of settling in and setting things to rights. Spring is advanced this year; there is mowing and brushing to do and the gardens to be got ready (they wait on the Deere, which for the second time refuses to run at the beginning ...


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Coming Home to the World: Another Journal for Henry Beston

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pp. 111-131

I imagine them always sitting opposite each other at the ends of the large table in the farm kitchen, each of them writing, as professional writers of their time were said to do, the daily portion of well-made sentences. I do not know how they financed the sometimes fashionable and always comfortable ...


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The Education of a Hunter: Reading Richard Nelson

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pp. 135-162

Nelson's way in The Island Within, his most recent book, is not ours: The education to which he would be true and the experiment on life it proposed stand our way on its head. Thoreau says in the chapter on "Higher Laws" in Walden, in what I think is still the best morality on hunting and ...

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A Letter from Richard Nelson

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pp. 163-176

You correctly surmise that parts of the essay concerning The Island Within are troubling to me ... I am especially concerned about passages that draw conclusions about my personal values and feelings, based on the glimpses I've provided in writing. This ...


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Back and Down: Loren Eiseley's Immense Journey

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pp. 179-218

Turn to any of the figures about whom Eiseley writes: Bacon, Darwin, Emerson, Thoreau, Jeffers. These "representative men" are all self-characterizations, partial portraits in the conspicuous self-presentation of his work. He speaks in All the Strange Hours of the "concealed essay," a modification ...


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Muir's Self-Authorizings

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pp. 221-264

You read from the end and not from the beginning, that is, from knowledge of what Muir became--such minimal, perhaps common, knowledge as the following, Muir's last entry in Who's Who (1914): ...

E-ISBN-13: 9781587291814
Print-ISBN-13: 9780877453963

Page Count: 274
Publication Year: 1992