Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 2 images

Practice of the Wild Paperback – September, 1990


See all 4 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Paperback
"Please retry"
$32.23 $0.01
12%20Days%20of%20Deals%20in%20Books
NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Best Books of the Year
Best Books of 2014
Looking for something great to read? Browse our editors' picks for 2014's Best Books of the Year in fiction, nonfiction, mysteries, children's books, and much more.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 190 pages
  • Publisher: North Point Press (September 1990)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0865474540
  • ISBN-13: 978-0865474543
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.5 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #268,973 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Essayist and Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Snyder ( Turtle Island ) offers nine sensitive and thoughtful essays blending his personal Buddhist beliefs, respect for wildlife and the land, and fascination with language and mythic tradition into a "meditation on what it means to be human." In "The Place, the Region, and the Commons," he relates the old English concept of the common to publicly held U.S. forests, expressing concern that Americans, who lack an intimate familiarity with the land, "are not actually living here intellectually, imaginatively, or morally." "Tawny Grammar," referring to a Spanish phrase for knowledge of nature, examines this knowledge through a school curriculum in northwest Alaska that combines traditional native values and marketable skills. "Ancient Forests of the Far West" contrasts Snyder's experience as a logger in the 1950s, when the industry still exercised restraint, with the current depletion of American woodlands. And "The Woman Who Married a Bear" comments on relations between bears and humans through a Native American myth about a girl who is carried off by a grizzly that assumes the form of a man.
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

More people should read this book than will. Snyder is, of course, an important writer, a Pulitzer Prize winner for poetry, and a spokesperson for the wilderness. Here in spare, eloquent prose, he presents a series of essays that probe the essence of humanity, nature, and their symbiosis. Sometimes Thoreauvian, sometimes way out past Thoreau, he argues, "Nature is not a place to visit, it is home . . . ." "I want to talk about place as an experience," he proposes, and he really does. This is an important book for anyone interested in the ethical interrelationships of things, places, and people, and it is a book that is not just read but taken in. It is lamentable that many readers will spend their time taking in much lesser writers. Essential for all serious collections.
- Robert E. Brown, Onondaga Cty. P.L., Syracuse, N.Y.
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
5 star
7
4 star
4
3 star
0
2 star
0
1 star
0
See all 11 customer reviews
Share your thoughts with other customers

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

29 of 29 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 27, 1999
Format: Paperback
When asked to recommend one book for young people, writer Jim Harrison picked "The Practice of the Wild" for its poetic sanity. I read Snyder's unpretentious collection while commuting on the train every morning one summer into downtown Chicago. The epiphanies came fast and furious as I sped through the city's West Side. The wisdom of Snyder's thinking is that he doesn't blindly differentiate between the "human world" and "wilderness"--people bad, nature good--but helps us see the beauty in everything. Like his poetry, Snyder's prose is funny and illuminating, capturing the rough texture of the world. "The Practice of the Wild" is a treasure.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 14, 1999
Format: Paperback
Snyder's "The Practice of the Wild" is an exciting challenge to all of us to reconnect through myth, song, stories, culture, to the places we live and take for granted. It is accessible, fun, and enlightening. Snyder questions basic assumptions that we have, and examines the idea that listening to the land and its spirits will help us develop a new ethic. "It is appropriate to feel loyalty to a given glacier; it is advisable to investigate the whole water cycle; and it is rare and marvelous to know that glaciers do not always flow and that mountains are always walking." Tying together science, politics, and poetry, Snyder has asked each of us to discover what it is about our self that yearns to be whole, and points out that this wholeness can come through the wild.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Frank Bierbrauer on July 8, 2001
Format: Paperback
In much the same way as other reviewers I found Gary Snyder's book "Practice of the Wild" a very enjoyable read, I was originally pointed to it through the amazing work of Jack Turner's "The Abstract Wild" where he refered to it. Although nowhere near as intense or so purely full of power as Turner's book it is fluid and poetic. One of the first things that strikes you is Snyder's astonishing grasp of just about anything, his knowledge of foreign languages is acute, the width of understanding boggles the mind. It must also be remembered that he spent some years in Japan studying as a Zen monk, this would of course have introduced him to Japanese and through it Chinese characters, poetry etc. Snyder seems a remarkable man, this book as well as illuminating the human condition and its need for true wildness, not in the ordinary sense of the term but as native peoples perceive it or rather live it, is a kind of autobiography, maybe I should say a telling of the story of Snyder himself. You become intimately connected to his life, which is really quite incredible, the sort of life where he could no longer say in old age that "I never did what I wanted to", Snyder has really lived, a lumberjack, a monk, an anthropologist, poet etc etc.
The book is interspersed with scientific detail of the living world and then up comes a very poetic passage somehow interconnected without one feeling it is incoherent as he slips from poetic to hard science. What a life he has lived, what experience that simply cannot be ignored, "The Practice of the Wild" is written by someone who must be heard, whose message is human in every way, an ecologist, conservationist, logger, rancher.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Format: Paperback
In this collection of nine essays, Snyder unfolds a bioregional vision of how people can live in communities in tune with the world around them. He doesn't give us a strong argument, and it would be fairly straightforward to poke holes in the argumentation. But that's not the point. His approach is essayistic, sometimes poetic, and nothing like a formal policy paper.

Snyder's bioregionalism is grounded in natural regions, defined by biomes and by small-scale human communities. Politically he would like us organized well below the level of the state. He'd like each community to share a commons from which it draws natural resources, leaving wild areas on the other side of these commons. It's a reasonable vision, but not one possible with current levels of human population.

It's not clear how large urban centers fit into this vision, or if they should be broken up and scattered about. Such scattering would, to say the least, have a much greater impact on the natural world than the status quo - - dense cities with good public transportation actually have much smaller carbon footprints than dispersed human communities.

Snyder's bioregional vision reflects several strains of thought. One is a critique of civilization, and a deep sympathy with indigenous peoples. Unlike some other writers, he does not romanticize the indigenous, though I would say he remains overly optimistic about their lifestyles as an alternative to industrial civilizations. More distinctively, Snyder's writing reflects a fascination with other religious traditions and a love of language and etymology. He has himself arrived at Buddhism but he sees value in many other lines of religious thinking.

These essays are full of insights about human communities and the natural world, and well worth a read.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
By Kyle Gardner on March 20, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I recently reread this collection of essays from Gary Snyder and reaffirmed my view that of all the nature writers out there, Snyder remains among our most lucid and insightful philosophers and, most importantly, practitioners of wilderness thought. I would describe the essays in this collection as "thick and rich," thoughtfully crafted from decades of experience, confidently and clearly asserted, and skillfully argued by a scholar of the world. Snyder is conveying knowledge gained through direct experience. As such the essays are small lessons of instruction and guidance for the age-old question "how should I live?" The how, according to Snyder, is accomplished by becoming native to one's place, seeking out what is good, wild, and free, and paying attention to the mystery that pervades all.

Kyle Gardner, author of Medicine Rock Reflections
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?