By Barry Lopez
The acclaimed nationwide booklet Award winner provides us a set of spellbinding new essays that, learn jointly, shape a jigsaw-puzzle portrait of a unprecedented guy.
With the booklet of his best-selling Of Wolves and Men, and with the striking originality of Arctic Dreams, Barry Lopez proven himself as that infrequent author whose each e-book is an occasion, for either critics and his committed readership. Now, in About This Life, he's taking us on a literal and figurative trip around the terrain of autobiography, assembling essays of serious knowledge and perception. here's far-flung commute (the great thing about distant Hokkaido Island, the over-explored Galápagos, enigmatic Bonaire); a naturalist's rivalry (Why does our society unavoidably strip political strength from individuals with intimate wisdom of the land small-scale farmers, local american citizens, Eskimos, cowboys?); and natural event (a dizzying sequence of around-the-world trips with air freight every thing from penguins to pianos). And right here, too, are seven beautiful reminiscence items hauntingly lyrical but unsentimental reminiscences that characterize Lopez's such a lot own paintings thus far, and so that it will be learn as classics of the non-public essay for years to come.
In writing approximately nature and other people from all over the world, through exploring the questions of our age, and, mainly, through sharing a brand new openness approximately himself, Barry Lopez supplies us a booklet that's straight away drastically erudite but intimate: a magically written and provocative paintings through an incredible American author on the most sensible of his shape.
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Additional info for About This Life: Journeys on the Threshold of Memory
The answer is simple. Intellect that is severed from the masses, and that can no longer identify history within their real movement, necessarily forfeits real practice, with the result that practice comes to be confined to the center of one’s personal life. In the case of writers, then, practice comes necessarily to be placed within their work of expression. A writer’s practice becomes reduced to his expressive activities. The writer thus replaces the indispensable circulation between practice and knowledge, which is necessary for man to increase and deepen knowledge, with a self-increasing circulation between expression and knowledge.
Even if they seem academic and focus on plausible topics, most are fraudulent publications or what essentially amounts to the same thing. Devoted to such topics as moneymaking secrets, ways to become popular, how to write letters, or keys to becoming a better swimmer, such books take advantage of the misunderstandings on the part of unhappy people who do not grasp the real meaning of what they are looking for, thereby defrauding readers of two or three hundred yen. I am not the only person who feels this way; most serious writers say the same thing.
However, this does not mean that theory should be scorned. Theory has its own role, and if it is formed within knowledge through uniting with practice, then it should certainly combine with perception to aid in the creation of types. Also, perception without the aid of theory would be unable to create types. If a writer seeks to occupy the standpoint of realism, he must adopt the viewpoint of practice in terms of transforming reality. His goal must be the liberation of mankind. This is not the psychological liberation offered by prison chaplains to condemned prisoners, but rather the real and concrete liberation provided by the liberation forces that opened the gates of the Nazi concentration camps.