This essay attends to Edward Abbey's seminal but under-theorized environmental text Desert Solitaire. I lay out and offer what I call a "wild reading" of the text. That reading draws upon on what I consider a timely return to the work of twentieth century literary critic Paul de Man in the light of Timothy Morton's recent formulation of ecomimesis in nature writing. Essentially, I argue that this particular methodological approach to the text, one that dwells in the paradoxes stemming from the distinction between human and non-human, between language and world, allows for a return from what I consider the dead end of much posthuman critical environmental thought. This analysis focuses on the text's figuration of "paradox and bedrock" as well as Abbey's attempt to ground aesthetic language in natural semiosis. Although the ecomimesis must always be approached skeptically, in doing so we reveal not only the ideology of the text per Morton, but also the text's ability to exceed or problematize its ideological bases.


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pp. 888-913
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