Saturday, September 26, 2009

Robert Macfarlane reflects on the influence of The Monkey Wrench Gang

"Abbey spent years in grad school in New Mexico during the 1950s, flipping between the library and the landscape. His master's thesis was entitled "Anarchism and the Morality of Violence", and it compared Godwin, Proudhon and Bakunin. When he wasn't writing his thesis (which was most of the time), he was working as a fire-watcher and forest ranger in the national parks of the southwest. During those years, he thought his way through and beyond Thoreauvian civil disobedience, and into the world of direct action. He tested out his conclusions in non-fiction in the bestselling and bracingly grumpy Desert Solitaire (1968), and then fictionally in The Monkey Wrench Gang. When it was published, Jim Harrison described it approvingly in a New York Times review as "a violently revolutionary novel". So it proved to be."

Read the full article in
The Guardian:

Monday, September 21, 2009

The Essay - Richard Mabey

Not to be missed is Radio 3's 'The Essay', which this week features nature writer Ricard Mabey, author of Food for Free, The Unofficial Countryside, Common Ground and Nature Cure. In a series of five programmes he '"attempts to marry a Romantic view of the natural world with a tad of scientific precision" in essays concentrating on each of our senses. Tonight and every night until Friday, at 11.00 pm - or on listen again: