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View Diary: DKos Tour Series: Arches National Park (80 comments)

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  •  I've taught Solitaire for many years. I sometimes (19+ / 0-)

    have to remember that the generation of students today, even here in AZ, don't know who Abbey was -- many of them, anyway -- so it's fun to teach his larger-than-life story as much as the books. He spent most of his life toward the end here, teaching at UA in Tucson. By all accounts, he was a taskmaster in the classroom. The last photo of Abbey, predictably, is at a protest over putting a telescope on Mt Graham. He's buried "somewhere" in the desert -- about 4 people know where. We do have a photo of his headstone, which is a rock that says "Ed Abbey, No Comment." He called Arches "Abbey's Navel." Most students really like Solitaire -- it's witty, funny, cantankerous, illuminating, and spot-on. What he was writing more than 40 years ago, especially the stuff about industrial tourism and the growth of Phoenix, hits home. I can't imagine what he'd say today.

    stay together / learn the flowers / go light - Gary Snyder

    by Mother Mags on Sat Feb 16, 2013 at 09:50:29 AM PST

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    •  Five. . . (16+ / 0-)

      who know. . .can you guess who the fifth is? Well, when I was in Tucson, living there, I rented a studio apartment from the guy who got his Ph.D in environmental radicalism, on Abbey, no less, and I got meet Clark A. who finished 'Hayduke,' and later got to meet "Blue Desert" (the author). . .what a character. Anyway, it should not surprise you to hear, Mother Mags, Abbey is more popular today than he was in his time. I have heard this from a top publisher in that area, and, you're right, a lot of the younger gen doesn't quite know who Abbey was, but they'll find out because this environmental gadfly still has his gripes and polemics issuing from that 'vertical' grave. I heard his speak a couple of times, though I never hiked with the man. I know others who did and so I always got an earful of Abbey-in-your-face. What he says today is what you, me, and a collection of others are telling. And, yes, he is fun to teach, but of course we all know it was a tongue-in-cheek take on destroying 'that dam,' but at least Abbey got his literary revenge: he spawned the post monkey wrenchers who have found legal ways to try and keep the feds in check. "Abbey's Navel," indeed. . .Arches. Where it more or less all began. Well, actually, here in the Burqy. . .UNM. . .which is, oddly enough, why I, too, wanted to get some degrees in his main academic preference. . .philosophy. Thanks for posting, as always.

      Treat the world (yourself, and others) as part of a living organism. Everyone and everything will benefit.

      by richholtzin on Sat Feb 16, 2013 at 10:37:58 AM PST

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    •  My favorite "Western" film, Lonely Are the Brave (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      BlueOak, Redfire

      was based on Abbey's 2nd novel, The Brave Cowboy.  Kirk Douglas read the book when it came out and fell in live with the story, insisting that Universal Pictures make a movie of it with him as the lead.  They brought in screenwriter Dalton Trumbo, who had been formerly blacklisted, and had written the script for Spartacus earlier in his career.

      It really isn't a western so much as a movie set in the West.  I highly recommend it.  Abbey's themes of individualism, self reliance, ambivalence towards modernity and preference for the natural environment over the manmade one are captured well in the would be a good introduction the the author in your class.

      Oregon:'s cold. But it's a damp cold.

      by Keith930 on Sun Feb 17, 2013 at 06:22:04 AM PST

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