American Bushman

"If you would not be forgotten as soon as you are dead, either write things worth reading or do things worth writing." —Benjamin Franklin

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Book Club:The Wilderness Point of View

In this first chapter of "The Wilderness Life," Rustrum is already laying the foundation for this book along similar lines as Thoreau's "Walden." On two or three occasions he actually quotes Thoreau in this chapter.

He argues for the regenerative force found in nature. Anyone who has been on a day hike and then had to return to "real life" knows there is something to be said for the ultimate simplicity of the outdoors. To top off the simplicity, it's all free:
The sun rose and set in all its glory ever anew each day without financial or material aid. The rain fell on the forest bloom to keep me ceaselessly contemplating its magnificence though no hand cultivated it nor turned any watering spigots. Trails through the wilds, which I had no part in blazing, had been provided by the treading of its forest creatures for ages. I was given twelve breaths of pure, invigorating air every minute at no cost, by the miraculous conversion forces inherent in vegetation. The fuel needed for my tea pail and bannock-baking fire was supplied merely by reaching for it and using an ax to render it fit for my immediate use. The stage for my entertainment was set in the most dramatic style wherever I turned: vast waterfalls fell in spellbinding, thunderous spectacles to amaze, while along the river wildlife played their repertorial parts, though I paid not a single penny for admission. (pp. 9-10)

This chapter has set the tone for the book and it should provide some interesting reading.

Thanks for reading,



At 1:52 PM, Blogger Pablo said...

Great start to the book. Unfortunately I can't get it in the UK. We're talking about taking and leaving in the BCUK thread at the moment
Rustrum appears to take my view that we should be entitled to take (in moderation) from the wilderness and not expect to "pay" "...though I paid not a single penny for admission."

At 4:17 AM, Anonymous Visionq said...

Just stumbled accross this list of wilderness books.


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