Sep 23, 2008 at 7:23 pm #1231283
I've read others, but just finished Desert Solitaire.
A damned fine book if I do say so myself, got me completely wanting to go get lost in the desert this winter.
Anyone else love this guy?Sep 23, 2008 at 8:21 pm #1452034
Yes, Abbey is a fine writer. I started with The Monkey Wrench Gang, then read Heyduke Lives and most recently read Desert Solitaire in terms of his works that are story-telling novels. I also had the opportunity to peruse some of his handwritten journals as a fire lookout in Glacier National Park. These were very dry and quite bitter but unique seeing as though it was handwritten.Sep 23, 2008 at 8:37 pm #1452035
Read all those too…
How'd you get your hands on the journals? Very cool…Sep 23, 2008 at 9:33 pm #1452041
@don-1-2-2Locale: Koyukuk River, Alaska
You can buy a printed (and edited) version of the journals. It's called Confessions of a Barbarian. Good reading. Abbey was a complex man.
I'm not sure what Sam was able to see, but the originals of all Abbey's journals are housed at the Univ of Arizona here in Tucson – Ed's final home.
DonSep 23, 2008 at 10:01 pm #1452042
te – waParticipant
actually it was Oracle. He may have died in Tucson, however. We think he is buried in Cabeza Prieta. You might even find some useful info about his stint as a lookout on Aztec Peak, Sierra Ancha.Sep 23, 2008 at 10:25 pm #1452044
@creachenLocale: East Bay
I read the book in 97 and wanted to go to Moab or the desert soon after too!!! Great story. I can't believe it only cost me $2.95 for a paperback in 97.Sep 24, 2008 at 9:35 am #1452078
The 'journals' I read were not really journals, but the logs from Abbey's post as a fire lookout in Glacier National Park. They are available for viewing by appointment via the NPS archival staff in West Glacier.Sep 24, 2008 at 9:53 am #1452084
@butukiLocale: Kanto Plain, Japan
I was lucky enough to meet Edward Abbey in Boston and talk to him in private for a while shortly before he died. I wanted to be a nature writer then (still do) and we talked about how he managed to keep going as a nature writer long before it was popular to do so. Quite different from the curmudgeon-like character that his books portray, he was a very gentle and patient man with the most piercing and merry eyes.
I also recommend Barry Lopez's "Arctic Dreams", Gretel Ehrlich's "This Cold Heaven", David James Duncan's "My Story As Told By Water", Robert Michael Pyle's "Walking the High Ridge", Mark and Della Owens' " Cry of the Kalahari", Annie Dillard's "Pilgrim At Tinker Creek" and if you can find them, Kim Stafford's "Having Everything RIght", Robert Finch's "Outlands", Reg Saner's "The Four Cornered Falcon", and the English translation of the Russian writer V. K. Arseniev's "Dersu the Trapper", about the life of a Siberian hunter (it was made into a fantastic movie by Akira Kurosawa).Sep 24, 2008 at 12:49 pm #1452099
Enjoyed the book.
While not from DS, here is one my favorite quotes by him:
The real work of men was hunting meat. The invention of agriculture was a giant step in the wrong direction, leading to serfdom, cities, and empire. From a race of hunters, artists, warriors, and tamers of horses, we degraded ourselves to what we are now: clerks, functionaries, laborers, entertainers, processors of information.Sep 24, 2008 at 1:06 pm #1452102
Yes I second Barry Lopez, great writer. His dictionnary of landform terms ( written with other writers) is very fun to peruse and his essay " The Mappist" is one of my all time favs.
(scroll down to locate it)
As for Ed. Abbey he is missed. Desert Solitaire is such a powerful book. I fear however, that he would likely be emprisoned as a terror suspect in this day and age however.Sep 24, 2008 at 5:15 pm #1452132
Thanks for the reccomendations Miguel, I'm always looking for new thoughts to digest.Sep 30, 2008 at 9:19 am #1452770
On a kayaking tour a year or so ago our guide told us a story related to him by a friend that hung out with Ed Abbey once in a while. Supposedly, they were once trundling down some unnamed dirt road in Desert Solitaire-land when Abbey finished a beer and promptly tossed the empty can out the window.
Upon seeing this, the friend said something like, 'But you're Edward Abbey, champion of all things Nature! You just can't toss beer cans out into the wilderness.'
Purportedly, Abbey replied, "G*ddam road shouldn't be here anyway."Sep 30, 2008 at 2:14 pm #1452787
…finished a beer and promptly tossed the empty can out the window.
Abbey references this in The Monkey Wrench Gang as his alter-ego character George Hayduke does this a lot.Sep 30, 2008 at 3:09 pm #1452794
From "A Walk in the Desert" in "Beyond the Wall", this quote reminds me of the monster loads of water I had to carry in Joshua Tree.
"Wish I had a burro with me, I think, or a mule. It's this chunk of dull lead in my pack, waiting for my aching spine, that dampens the spirit. I wish I had the courage to travel light, light John Muir, with only raisins and a crust of pumpernickel in my pockets. But he was wandering in the friendly High Sierra, where brooks babble and berries ripen in the placid sunshine."Oct 2, 2008 at 7:26 am #1452981
Sam said- "Abbey references this in The Monkey Wrench Gang as his alter-ego character George Hayduke does this a lot."
I feel robbed! The story is most likely a complete a complete load of bull then huh? Never trust the tour guide :)Oct 2, 2008 at 8:46 am #1452990
Russell, it is possible that your guide's friend had ridden with Abbey and witnessed him doing this but more than likely it was just a story manufactured from something they'd heard in the past as Abbey was apparently notorious for this activity.
Abbey writes in his journal, The Second Rape of the West, "Of course I litter the public highway. Every chance I get. After all, it's not the beer cans that are ugly; it's the highway that is ugly."Oct 3, 2008 at 6:58 pm #1453172
You guys shoulc check out Walking It Off, written by the inspiration from GW Hayduke. It's a great insight to Abbey. I do believe they mention the fact that he frequently tosses beer cans out the window, althought he claims he is "stahsing them" for kids to pick up and turn in for money.
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