Always the Mountains

Overview


David Rothenberg is one of our most eloquent observers of the interplay between nature, culture, and technology. These nineteen pieces exemplify what has been called Rothenberg's "amiable" mix of interests, styles, and approaches.

In settings that range from wildest Norway to his own front porch in upstate New York, Rothenberg discusses the Hudson River School of painters, the hazy provenance of Chief Seattle's famous speech, ecoterrorism, suburbia, the World Wide Web, and much...

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Overview


David Rothenberg is one of our most eloquent observers of the interplay between nature, culture, and technology. These nineteen pieces exemplify what has been called Rothenberg's "amiable" mix of interests, styles, and approaches.

In settings that range from wildest Norway to his own front porch in upstate New York, Rothenberg discusses the Hudson River School of painters, the hazy provenance of Chief Seattle's famous speech, ecoterrorism, suburbia, the World Wide Web, and much more. He asks if we can save a place less obtrusively than by turning it into a park. He muses on the plight of a pacifist beset by a swarm of mosquitoes. He ascends Mt. Ventoux with Petrarch and Mt. Katahdin with Thoreau.

In Always the Mountains, Rothenberg dares us to "enjoy the fundamental uncertainty that grounds human existence," to wean ourselves from the habit of simple answers and embrace the world's vastness.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Rothenberg's mountain excursions are absolutely the best since Thoreau's Katahdin and Muir's The Mountains of California. His prose is effortless, yet anchored in granitic truth. Truly an inspiring alternative to the 'peak bagging,' heroic mountain climber tales that dominate the market. Every climber should read this book."--Max Oelschlaeger, author of The Idea of Wilderness

“Whatever David Rothenberg touches becomes a surprise exploration, an unexpected point of engagement where he invites us to a deeper way of thinking about our place on the planet. He is a musician, a philosopher, a writer, and above all, an alchemist."--Terry Tempest Williams

"Years ago, I decided that I would never get to the center of things unless I went to the edge. David Rothenberg has changed my mind. He takes us on a leap off the edge and convinces me that this act is our only hope of finally getting some solid ground underneath our souls."--Charles Bowden, author of Blues for Cannibals

"If you love to ponder our subtly nuanced relationships with all that surrounds us, this book is for you."--David Keller, Catalyst

"Stirring . . . Rothenberg explores our evolving attitudes-in literature, in philosophy—toward the lofty peaks that surround and inspire us.”--Jim Motavalli, E Magazine

"Reading Always the Mountains is like hiking a trail with both friend and mentor, with every step a new discovery and subsequent, exciting conversation."--Terrain

“Rothenberg is concerned with what it means to be human, both in and out of nature; what it means to remove ourselves from nature, yet strive to preserve it. . . . Rothenberg's writing is by turns challenging, poetic, insightful."--Todd Paul, Chronogram

"Engaging and profound, Always the Mountains marries information and imagination.”--Satish Kumar, editor of Resurgence

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780820329536
  • Publisher: University of Georgia Press
  • Publication date: 4/1/2007
  • Pages: 281
  • Product dimensions: 7.39 (w) x 8.73 (h) x 0.78 (d)

Meet the Author


David Rothenberg is a philosopher, musician, and writer. He is the author of Why Birds Sing, which will be published in five languages and has been turned into a BBC television series. His other books include Sudden Music (Georgia), Hand's End, and Blue Cliff Record. His essays have appeared in such publications as Parabola, the Nation, Wired, Dwell, Sierra, and Orion. Rothenberg's five CDs, on which he plays clarinet, include Before the War and Bangalore Wild. Rothenberg is a professor of philosophy and music at the New Jersey Institute of Technology.
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Table of Contents

Prologue: What We'll Never Know of Nature
1 Ways toward Mountains 1
2 The Return of the Sublime 15
3 Dare I Kill the Snake? From Ahimsa to Deep Ecology 35
4 Contact! Contact! Up Katahdin with Thoreau 40
5 Will the Real Chief Seattle Please Speak Up? 53
6 Melt the Snowflake at Once! Henry Bugbee's History of Wonder 62
7 Who Is the Lone Ranger? Edward Abbey as Philosopher 75
8 From the Opaque to the Concrete: The Poetic Side of Arne Naess 90
9 Get Out of Whatever Cage 109
10 Truth across the Divide: The Fragility of Cultural Identity 121
11 Beyond the Selfish Landscape 131
12 The Nine Points of Eco-Cultural Restoration 144
13 A Plea for Quiet Preservation 156
14 Why Wild Philosophy? 165
15 Knowledge versus Information 175
16 That's Damn Talented Elephant! 195
17 The Firefest 203
18 The Innocent Climb 225
19 The Zone 235
Epilogue: From the Summits to the Sea 258
Notes 263
Acknowledgments 273
Index 275
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