Because life is a series of edits

Meet Edward Abbey

In Writers on July 5, 2006 at 10:24 pm

Just got my copy of Orion magazine today and spent some quality time with it this evening. Of particular enjoyment was a collection of unpublished letters written by the late Edward Abbey (think Wendell Berry with a mean streak), about whom the editors write:

“Hands down, no one did more to inspire, entertain, refresh, and invigorate eco-activists and environmental defenders in the latter half of the twentieth century than Edward Abbey.”

I don’t consider myself much of an “eco-activist” nor an “environmental defender,” but being a farm kid (and a Christian), I want to love God’s creation more than I already do. After all, as Abbey writes (pre-1990, mind you):

“The most common form of terrorism in the U.S.A. is that carried on by bulldozers and chainsaws. It is not enough to understand the natural world; the point is to defend and preserve it. Sentiment without action is the ruin of the soul.”


(Note: I also like Abbey’s writing because he uses the semicolon a lot. Regardless of your personal opinion/use of God’s greatest gift to punctuation, be sure to read Abbey’s letters addressed to Karen Evans and Barry Lopez. Thought-provoking.)

  1. Abbey’s life seems fasinating. His book Desert Solitair is amazing.

  2. Mark, I just ordered Abbey’s Monkey Wrench Gang and The Fool’s Progress from Paperback Swap. Didn’t see Desert Solitaire there, but I’ll keep it in mind.

  3. (unrelated to post)

    Hi Craig!

    Jared Olivetti here. I saw your name at the writers read website thought it’d be nice to reconnect after a few years. I’m glad to see you and Megan and the girls are doing well.

    Lisa and I are doing well; our third child is on the way (we already have a boy and a girl). We’re working now in church planting in West Lafayette (where Purdue is).

    Anyway, it’s good to see you, if only electronically. I look forward to reading more of your writing.


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