For Love of the World

For Love of the World

Essays on Nature Writers

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274 pages

“Sherman Paul stands in the critical landscape like Thoreau in the Concord woods: resolutely emplaced, erudite, opinionated, and always interesting.”—Western American Literature

“The reader is an eavesdropper on a fascinating conversation between, on the one side, some of America's greatest writers and, on the other, the inimitable literary scholar Sherman Paul, who interrogates, probes, ponders and always appreciates. I sat transfixed through several wonderful evenings by these deep, passionate words about the earth and its value in our lives.”—Donald Worster

“I find this book a virtual model of humane intelligence…I am tremendously impressed by a mind that is well trained and well filled with information yet relaxed enough to see the manysidedness of things.”—Thomas J. Lyon

Along with poets, philosophers, and deep ecologists, nature writers—who may be something of all three—address the world alienation of Western civilization. By example as well as with words, they teach us to turn from the self to the world, from ego to ecos. In these deeply felt meditative essays, Sherman Paul contemplates the cosmological homecoming of nature writers who show us how to reenter the world, participate in it, and recover respect for it.

In For Love of the World Sherman Paul considers Thoreau, John Muir, and Aldo Leopold, major writers in the American tradition of nature writing; Henry Beston and Loren Eiseley, writers not yet so canonical; and Richard Nelson and Barry Lopez, our estimable contemporaries.

Paul's meditative mode follows the practice of naturalists who enter the field, come into the open, and relate their immediate experiences. In the most primary and direct way, his essays belong to our moment in history when nothing is more essential than our reattachment to earthly existence. They will reawaken our love of the world—the necessary eros of ecos—and our wonder at and gratitude for being.