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Original Essays | September 4, 2014

Edward E. Baptist: IMG The Two Bodies of The Half Has Never Been Told: Slavery and the Making of American Capitalism



My new book, The Half Has Never Been Told: Slavery and the Making of American Capitalism, is the story of two bodies. The first body was the new... Continue »
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RobinWren217 has commented on (2) products.

Pilgrim at Tinker Creek by Annie Dillard
Pilgrim at Tinker Creek

RobinWren217, September 5, 2011

Dillard's lovely book, first published more than 35 years ago, can rightly be called a classic. It remains even now one of the most beautiful works in a genre that includes Thoreau and Aldo Leopold. From PILGRIM: "We wake, if we ever wake at all, to mystery, rumors of death, beauty, violence. . . . 'Seems like we're just set down here,' a woman said to me recently, 'and don't nobody know why.'" Dillard at the time did not call herself a naturalist but an observer. Oh, but Lord, what an observer, and what a writer! Before we were all learning to value the present, she was right there in it, up close, watching. Time and its passage seemed to meant nothing to her, not if Lethocerus, the giant waterbug, happened to catch her attention as it slurped down a soup of frog. I admit that I was reluctant to read PILGRIM, I had heard too many paeans to Dillard's book and as an amateur naturalist myself was certain that it would either disappoint or offend with what in those days (the 1970s) I feared would be "hippy-dippy" nonsense. I was wrong, completely wrong. Read the book. If the writer was young, she was wise beyond her years, but more important, she was not trying to say anything, only to look and to watch and to ask questions. She did it brilliantly, with writing that has not lost any of its power or beauty over time.
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Pilgrim at Tinker Creek
Pilgrim at Tinker Creek

RobinWren217, September 5, 2011

Dillard's lovely book, first published more than 35 years ago, can rightly be called a classic. It remains even now one of the most beautiful works in a genre that includes Thoreau and Aldo Leopold. "We wake, if we ever wake at all, to mystery, rumors of death, beauty, violence. . . . 'Seems like we're just set down here,' a woman said to me recently, 'and don't nobody know why.'" Dillard at the time did not call herself a naturalist but an observer. Oh, but Lord, what an observer, and what a writer! Before we were all learning to value the present, she was right there in it, up close, watching. Time and its passage seemed to meant nothing to her, not if Lethocerus, the giant waterbug, happened to catch her attention as it slurped down a soup of frog. I admit that I was reluctant to read PILGRIM, I had heard too many paeans to Dillard's book and as an amateur naturalist myself was certain that it would either disappoint or offend with what in those days (the 1970s) I feared would be "hippy-dippy" nonsense. I was wrong, completely wrong. Read the book. If the writer was young, she was wise beyond her years, but more important, she was not trying to say anything, only to look and to watch and to ask questions. She did it brilliantly, with writing that has not lost any of its power or beauty over time.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No



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