“If a nation’s literature declines, the nation atrophies and decays.”
Signs of atrophy and decay are inescapable these days. The coarseness of mass entertainment, the malignancy of political discourse, the creeping alienation affecting young and old alike which swells up and all too often releases itself in violence — all point to the realization that we have lost our way.
Before we can propose a way back, we have to figure out how we got lost.
I’m reminded of a flash of insight from one of my favorite nature writers, Charlene Spretnak. In The Resurgence of the Real, she noted that in our frenzy to reconstruct the world to cater to endless consumption and personal gratification, we have become our own Frankenstein monsters:
Ten years ago, I attended an all-day presentation by two of our finest writers on the natural world, Barry Lopez and Richard Nelson. A…
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