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Notes LETTER TO THE EDITOR 29.XII.90 Friends— I am writing in regard to Peter Wild’s review of Ed Engle’s Seasonal in the November 1990 issue of Western American Literature. I have long appreci­ ated Mr. Wild’s poetry, his conservationist history work, and his reviewing. He has been a dedicated western writer/scholar/teacher. It is with diffidence that I criticize, but this is a significant little point that should be brought forward: I refer to his sentence “Or we gaze through the bushes at the West’s subcul­ tures, for instance, a band of gypsy tree planters, scuzzy Buddhists whose women work stripped to the waist, much to the alarm of the local rangers.” This comment is based on a single paragraph on p. 74 of Mr. Engle’s book. It describes the arrival of a group of Hoedads, the well-remembered semicommunal treeplanters based in Oregon, on a planting contract in Colorado. Engle’s text reads “The men were strong, longhaired, and knew about Buddha. Some of the women worked warm days stripped to the waist, wearing only cut-off shorts and mountain boots. This is what brought our bosses out—some­ times even the district ranger—with binoculars and cameras. They watched from underneath their hard hats with a squint in their eyes that furrowed the skin clear back to the shaved hair around their ears,” and down the page Engle comments “our planters finished their job on time and passed.” I can see no prurient gazing through bushes. A professional group of travelling tree-planters are not exactly gypsies, any more than nomadic con­ struction workers. Neither the men or women sound “scuzzy”—and there was an open and joyous time when women worked shirtless in hot weather along the Pacific slope. The Forest Service is definitely entertained here, but not “alarmed.” What’s going on? Mr. Wild would certainly not dare to refer to contract Mexican tree planters as “scuzzy Catholics” though they might wear cut-off shorts. I guess he had a temporary lapse here thinking to poke fun. If it were not Peter Wild I would take this to be more yuppie revisionist self-loathing about the supposed excesses of the sixties. We have had about enough of that, I’d think, seeing what the Reagan and Bush administrations are leaving us with. And I for one am happily a Buddhist, and by golly am proud of my hippie roots. GARY SNYDER 50 Western American Literature THE JACK LONDON SOCIETY HAS BEEN FORMED The Jack London Society exists to promote interest in the life and works of Jack London. Our membership is open to everyone who enjoys reading and learning about Jack London’s writings. A biannual newsletter keeps members up-to-date on Jack London events, including the annual banquet in Glen Ellen and other get-togethers, scholarly presentations at conferences around the country, publications, and book collecting. In the future the Society will pub­ lish an annual collection of essays. The Society is an official author society of the American Literature Association. Dues are $10 per year for individuals and $15 for joint memberships. President: Professor Emeritus Sam Baskett, Michigan State University Executive Secretary: Professor Jeanne Campbell Reesman Division of English, Classics & Philosophy The University of Texas at San Antonio San Antonio, TX 78285 (512) 826-8613 For membership information, contact Professor Reesman above. * * * CONFERENCE AMERICAN STUDIES ASSOCIATION OF TEXAS, 21-23 November 1991, Lubbock, TX. Address: Kenneth W. Davis, Program Chair and Vice President, Department of English, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX 79409 Conference Theme: The Many Americas: Regionalism Reconsidered in art, history, economics, literature, geography, sociology, science, anthropology, museums, libraries, languages, journalism, religion, education, and other disciplines. * * ...


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