Nature writing

I’ve been reading nature books and I just realized something. The old writers (1800’s, 1900’s, even up to 1960’s) worked in the wilderness, worked for the wilderness, lived in it (really lived in it, all summer long, or all year), walked in the wilderness. The “new” writers of nature don’t even get out in it much, much less live or walk in it! No wonder their writings are shallow and full of platitudes! But, one can’t deny the Muries, John Muir, Edward Abbey, etc. KNEW what they were talking about — they revered nature, did not condone logging or cattle in the forests or on public land, etc. Their environmentalism is based on reality, not gratuitous self- congratulatory arrogance! These new writers are fakes. They are writers not naturalists. And, ironically, they use up a lot of trees to publish their books.

And, lots of these writers, writing about places, just repeat already published stuff that one could (and usually have) read on one’s own. Yet, writers who do something amazing, like sail down the Mississippi under their own power, have to self-publish. A lot of 2nd hand trade book stores won’t carry these kinds of books, so if they go out of print, they are lost forever. Yet “Writers” (published by publishing houses) get carried along forever, even if the books are rehashed crap and the most challenging thing the writer has done has been to go without good coffee for a few days.

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