The Art of Seeing Things: Essays by John Burroughs

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9780815628804: The Art of Seeing Things: Essays by John Burroughs

A collection of essays by noted naturalist John Burroughs in which he contemplates a wide array of topics including farming, religion, and conservation. A departure from previous John Burroughs anthologies, this volume celebrates the surprising range of his writing to include religion, philosophy, conservation, and farming. In doing so, it emphasizes the process of the literary naturalist, specifically the lively connection the author makes between perceiving nature and how perception permeates all aspects of life experiences

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About the Author:

John Burroughs was the naturalist of the Catskills and friend and contemporary of John Muir. Charlotte Zoe Walker is a professor of English and women's studies at the State University of New York College at Oneonta, where she teaches courses in nature and literature. She is the editor of Sharp Eyes: John Burroughs and American Nature Writing, also published by Syracuse University Press

From Publishers Weekly:

An American essayist and naturalist, Burroughs wrote 28 books between 1867 and 1922; his career was a product of turn-of-the-last-century America's desire for a steady diet of nature writing. This selection from Syracuse's complete set of his works is divided into eight sections "Perception and the Natural World," "Farming and Rural Life," "Far from Home," "Science and Field Study" and "Autobiography" among them. Many of the earlier essays present us with Burroughs's direct observations of the natural world, the lives of animals in the wild and those on and around his farm in particular. The title essay exhorts readers to drop out, turn on and tune in without abusing any substances. Burroughs's childhood on a dairy farm (circa 1840), his attempt to hear the song of the nightingale while on a trip to England in 1882 and a fascinating description of icebergs forming from an Alaskan glacier figure in elsewhere. And he writes with the enthusiasm and boldness of his friend Whitman's Song of Myself. But while buffs of the period will find a lot to like here, most readers will find long stretches tedious, and the particular selections not really substantiated. But the gems, when they turn up, make for worthwhile period reading. (Apr.)Forecast: University libraries, particularly those serving schools with naturalism and ecology programs, will find this book a convenient way to have some Burroughs without committing to the full set. Smaller and specialty stores in rural areas might also keep the paperback on hand for weekenders and others.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

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