Abbey in America : a philosopher's legacy in a new century by John A. Murray

By John A. Murray

More than twenty-five years after his dying, iconic author and nature activist Edward Abbey (1927-1989) is still an influential presence within the American environmental stream. Abbey's most sensible recognized works stay greatly learn and encourage discourse at the key matters dealing with modern American society, rather with admire to urbanization and expertise. Abbey in America, released 40 years after Abbey's well known novel The Monkey Wrench Gang, beneficial properties an all-star record of members, together with newshounds, authors, students, and of Abbey's most sensible buddies as they discover Abbey's principles and legacy via their targeted literary, own, and scholarly perspectives.

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Extra resources for Abbey in America : a philosopher's legacy in a new century

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Edward Abbey could have chosen to live anywhere—Sigurd Olson’s Voyageur’s Country, Adolph Murie’s Alaska, Edwin Way Teale’s New England—but he established himself in the Southwestern province—northern New Mexico—which seemed to him the opposite of all those other places, and the area most likely to inspire him, as it had kindred spirits who came before. Over time, the outer and inner landscapes converged and became a single living and creative entity. ”39 He resided in northern New Mexico for five years, during his earliest and most formative period in the Southwest.

Since the classical period, the truth has been carefully pursued through the systematic application of rigorous logic. Quite often the search has proceeded, as can be seen emerging in the Socratic dialogues, from thesis to anti-thesis to synthesis. This well- organized approach is evident throughout Desert Solitaire (1968) in Abbey’s analysis of the natural and supernatural (“Down the River”), society and solitude (“Havasu”), and culture and civilization (“Episodes and Visions”). Later in his career (1988), Abbey’s characteristic method can be seen in his examination of humanized versus natural landscapes (“Thus I Respond to Rene Dubos”), in his separation of conventional political systems and less formally structured political associations (“Theory of Anarchy”), and in his discussion of civil laws and civil disobedience (“Of Protest”).

1 Hopefully this book will help in part, if only symbolically, to return Abbey to the institution of higher learning at which he began his intellectual pilgrimage. Abbey in America examines the case for accepting the author’s works into the English and American prose canon. While pursuing a thesis regarding the merits of Abbey’s writings first advanced by Thomas J. Lyon of Utah State University in 1987, the work also addresses arguments to the contrary. The author’s legendary drinking, and its destructive effect on his life and later writings, is frankly addressed, as are his often-contentious literary and personal relationships with other members of the guild.

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