Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Walking into a New Year

Grey Owl was a popular writer, assumed to be at least half native American. He arrived in Canada as a teenager and lived in the woods. After his death in 1938, his friends were shocked to discover he was a white man from England named Archie. He was a generous man and a dedicated conservationist.

One essay by Grey Owl chronicled a series of casual, unwise decisions he made: to stay too long at one cabin, ignoring some small problems which led to his becoming ill and partly lame, and deciding to walk across a frozen lake at night in a blizzard to get to a surveyor's camp. He became snow blind, frostbitten and completely lost. The essay was so terrifyingly well-written I had to remind myself - he obviously lived to tell the tale. Still, the short essay was very educational, because had he died, he acknowledged, it would have been due to his own foolishness. He refused to listen to his inner voice, and took risks he normally wouldn't have taken. He noted that carelessness can cause more trouble than bad luck or misadventures.

Finally! Easy reading while on the treadmill. I can make the font size larger, turning pages is no longer an ordeal, and times flies when I'm reading.

The Lost Art of Walking: The History, Science, and Literature of Pedestrianism by Geoff Nicholson (I sampled this one and it's very entertaining - enough that I want to buy it.)

Walking by Henry David Thoreau (I'm currently reading this one, forty nine cents on Kindle.)

On Foot: A History of Walking by Joseph Amato (This one got such excellent reviews; I hope to find it at the library.)

Wanderlust: A History of Walking by Rebecca Solnit (A complete history)

The Walker's Literary Companion (Editors: Gilbert, Robinson, & Wallace)
Jane Austen, Basho, Charles Dickens, Rilke, Baudelaire, Whitman, Virginia Woolf, Marcel Proust, James Joyce, Frank O'Hara, Eudora Welty, Pablo Neruda, Dylan Thomas, Ray Bradbury, Sylvia Plath and others on rambles, strolls and hikes. (This one has to be good.)

John Burroughs (conservationist, naturalist) b. 1837, was a pioneer of the new school of nature writers. I've been able to find most of his essays and poems online at various sites.

My father considered a walk among the mountains
as the equivalent of churchgoing.

- Aldous Huxley


Coffee Messiah said...

Papers = good, although few and far between these days, and not much muckraking like a long time ago ; (

John Burroughs is a very good read and like Muir and others, should not be forgotten.


R.L. Bourges said...

The Walker's Literary Companion sounds delightful. And it's true: there's something about walking that's perfect for rearranging one's thoughts.

tony said...

Thank You For Your Visit + Prescription!
Archie !!! The English get everywhere!!!!

ArtSparker said...

See also the paintings of the Hudson River school.

My Classic Fiction Book List -Partial List

  • Austen, Jane: (Complete Works)
  • Balzac: Cousin Bette/ Eugenie Grandet / Cousin Pons
  • Best Russian Short Stories
  • Boyle, TC: Short Works
  • Brennan, Maeve : Short Works, 1 Novella
  • Bronte, Emily, Ann, Jane (Complete Works)
  • Brookner, Anita ( Complete Works)
  • Cather, Willa (Complete Works)
  • Chekov: Short Works
  • David Copperfield (Dickens)
  • Dickens:A Tale of Two Cities
  • Dickens:Great Expectations
  • Dickens:Nicholas Nickelby
  • Dickens:Our Mutual Friend
  • Dickens:The Old Curiosity Shop
  • Doyle, Roddy (some novels, memoir)
  • Drabble, Margaret (4 Novels)
  • Drieser, Theodore (Complete Works)
  • Fitzgerald, F.Scott (Most Novels & short works)
  • Hardy, Thomas (Complete Works)
  • Hemingway, Short stories
  • Hemingway: The Old Man in the Sea
  • Hemingway: The Sun Also Rises
  • Hugo: Les Miserables/Hunchback Of ND
  • James, Henry: Daisy Miller
  • James, Henry: In The Cage
  • James, Henry: Portrait of a Lady
  • James, Henry: The Golden Bowl
  • James, Henry: What Maisy Knew
  • James, Henry: Wings of a Dove
  • James, Henry:The Ambassadors
  • James, Henry; The Bostonians
  • Kerouac: Dharma Bums
  • Kerouac: On The Road
  • Kerouac: The Subterraneans
  • Kerouac: Tristessa
  • Lardner,Ring:Short Works
  • Larsen: Quicksand
  • Lewis, Sinclair: Arrowsmith
  • Lewis, Sinclair: Free Air
  • Lewis, Sinclair: Main Street
  • Lewis, Sinclair: The Job
  • MacGill, Patrick (Complete works)
  • Mackin, Walter (novels)
  • Maupassant: Short Works, novels
  • McGahern, John (novels of)
  • McNulty, John (Short Works)
  • Norris, Frank: McTeague
  • O'Brien, Edna (3 Novels)
  • O'Donnell, Paeder : Novels of
  • O. Henry
  • Potok, Chaim (4 novels/1 non fiction)
  • Salinger, JD : Nine Stories
  • Salinger: Franny & Zooey
  • Salinger: Raise High the Roofbeams
  • Salinger: The Catcher in the Rye
  • Sinclair, Lewis: Dodsworth
  • Sinclair, Lewis: Elmer Gantry
  • Sinclair, Upton: King Coal
  • Sinclair, Upton: The Jungle
  • Steinbeck, John: Sweet Thursday
  • Steinbeck: Winter of our Discontent
  • Steinbeck: Cannery Row
  • Steinbeck: East of Eden
  • Steinbeck: The Grapes of Wrath
  • Theroux, Paul (3 Novels )
  • Toibin, Colm: (Novels of)
  • Tolstoy: Anna Karenina
  • Tolstoy: Short Works
  • Turgenev (2 novels)
  • Twain: T Sawyer, Life on the Mississippi
  • Vonnegut: Early Works (1950s-60s)
  • Wharton, Edith: Novels of/Short Stories
  • Women & Fiction (Edit. Cahill)
  • Zola, Emile ( 10 novels)