The Practice of the Wild: With a New Preface by the Author

Overview


The nine captivatingly meditative essays in The Practice of the Wild display the deep understanding and wide erudition of Gary Snyder in the ways of Buddhist belief, wildness, wildlife, and the world. These essays, first published in 1990, stand as the mature centerpiece of Snyder’s work and thought, and this profound collection is widely accepted as one of the central texts on wilderness and the interaction of nature and culture.
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Overview


The nine captivatingly meditative essays in The Practice of the Wild display the deep understanding and wide erudition of Gary Snyder in the ways of Buddhist belief, wildness, wildlife, and the world. These essays, first published in 1990, stand as the mature centerpiece of Snyder’s work and thought, and this profound collection is widely accepted as one of the central texts on wilderness and the interaction of nature and culture.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Essayist and Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Snyder ( Turtle Island ) offers nine sensitive and thoughtful essays blending his personal Buddhist beliefs, respect for wildlife and the land, and fascination with language and mythic tradition into a ``meditation on what it means to be human.'' In ``The Place, the Region, and the Commons,'' he relates the old English concept of the common to publicly held U.S. forests, expressing concern that Americans, who lack an intimate familiarity with the land, ``are not actually living here intellectually, imaginatively, or morally.'' ``Tawny Grammar,'' referring to a Spanish phrase for knowledge of nature, examines this knowledge through a school curriculum in northwest Alaska that combines traditional native values and marketable skills. ``Ancient Forests of the Far West'' contrasts Snyder's experience as a logger in the 1950s, when the industry still exercised restraint, with the current depletion of American woodlands. And ``The Woman Who Married a Bear'' comments on relations between bears and humans through a Native American myth about a girl who is carried off by a grizzly that assumes the form of a man. (Sept.)
Library Journal
More people should read this book than will. Snyder is, of course, an important writer, a Pulitzer Prize winner for poetry, and a spokesperson for the wilderness. Here in spare, eloquent prose, he presents a series of essays that probe the essence of humanity, nature, and their symbiosis. Sometimes Thoreauvian, sometimes way out past Thoreau, he argues, ``Nature is not a place to visit, it is home . . . .'' ``I want to talk about place as an experience,'' he proposes, and he really does. This is an important book for anyone interested in the ethical interrelationships of things, places, and people, and it is a book that is not just read but taken in. It is lamentable that many readers will spend their time taking in much lesser writers. Essential for all serious collections.-- Robert E. Brown, Onondaga Cty. P.L., Syracuse, N.Y.
Booknews
The Pulitzer Prize-winning poet and counter-culture hero offers a prescription for recovering our humanness by giving it away--by giving back to the earth more than we take. No index. Published by North Point Press, 850 Talbot Avenue, Berkeley, CA 94706. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
James Hillman
What thoughtful beauty! How skillfully Gary Snyder interfuses the practical knowledge of an animal sense with story, language, and song. True teachers in America are now an endangered species. I learn so much from this good man's perception, humor, discipline, and love for this world. I am honored to praise this book.
Gretel Ehrlich
A primer, an etiquette, a book of instruction, Gary Snyder's The Practice of the Wild is an exquisite, far-sighted articulation of what freedom, wildness, goodness, and grace mean, using the lessons of the planet to teach us how to live.
Bill McKibben
Gary Snyder's deep hope-that someday we might all be native Americans, at home in our grand place-is the only hope we have. This is an exquisite book, and a hard one. Read it-and then live it, as best as you can.
Wes Jackson
I have always found it difficult to imagine this century without the life and work of Gary Snyder. After reading this collection of essays, I now find it impossible.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781582436388
  • Publisher: Counterpoint Press
  • Publication date: 8/17/2010
  • Pages: 224
  • Sales rank: 183,548
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.20 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Table of Contents

The Etiquette of Freedom 3
The Compact
The Words Nature, Wild, and Wilderness
Wildness
The World Is Watching
Back Home
The Place, the Region, and the Commons 27
The World is Places
Understanding the Commons
Bioregional Perspectives
Finding "Nisenan County"
Tawny Grammar 52
The Same Old Song and Dance
The Kuuvangmiut and the Humanities
Nature's Writing
Mother Leopards
Good, Wild, Sacred 84
Weeding Out the Wild
Waterholes
Shrines
True Nature
Blue Mountains Constantly Walking 104
Fudo and Kannon
This
Homeless
Larger Than a Wolf, Smaller Than an Elk
Decomposed
Walking on Water
Ancient Forests of the Far West 124
After the Clearcut
At Work in the Woods
Evergreen
Excursus
Sailor Meadow
Sierra Nevada
Us Yokels
On the Path, Off the Trail 154
Work in Place of Place
Freedom at Work
The Woman Who Married a Bear 166
The Story
On "The Woman Who Married a Bear"
Maria Johns and the Telling of This Story
Arkadia
At the Bear Dance
Survival and Sacrament 187
An End to Birth
Cultured or Crabbed
Grace
Bibliography 199
By Way of Thanks 203
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