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The Gary Snyder Reader: Selected Prose and Journals v. 1 [Hardcover]

Gary Snyder
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Book Description

14 May 1999
This monumental collection gathers the essays, travel journals, letters, poems, and translations of one of the most influential literary voices of the twentieth century.. This monumental collection gathers the essays, travel journals, letters, poems, and translations of one of the most influential literary voices of the twentieth century.Gary Snyder has been a major cultural force in America for five decades--prize-winning poet, environmental activist, Zen Buddhist, and reluctant counterculture guru. Having expanded far beyond the Beat poems that first brought his work into the public eye, Snyder has produced a broad-ranging body of work that encompasses his fluency in Eastern literature and culture, his commitment to the environment, and his concepts of humanitys place in the cosmos. The Gary Snyder Reader showcases the panoramic range of his literary vision in a single-volume survey that will appeal to students and general readers alike. Prose selections include letters to Lew Welch and Philip Whalen; journals from his travels to Saigon, Singapore, Kyoto, Ceylon, New Delhi, and Daramshala; meditations on Buddhism and the surrender of self; a cultural survey of communal living; and notes from the lookout tower on Sourdough Mountain, where Snyder once watched for forest fires. Also included are two long interviews with Snyder from East West Journal and The Paris Review .The Reader also gathers poems from each phase of Snyders long careerfrom his first collection, Riprap, to the Pulitzer Prize-winning Turtle Island, through his recently completed poem cycle, Mountains and Rivers Without End. It also includes Snyders little-known translation of the great Long Bitter Song poem by Bai Juyi, the longest poem in the Chinese language. From freighter to firetower, Zendo to Himalayan mountain ridge, Snyders writings reflect a lifetime of study, journey, and mindfulness. Time and again, his work has captured key moments in our changing culture, transforming our concept of literature and its place in a purposeful life.


Product details

  • Hardcover: 640 pages
  • Publisher: Counterpoint (14 May 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1887178902
  • ISBN-13: 978-1887178907
  • Product Dimensions: 5.7 x 17.1 x 24.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 936,386 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspiring 22 Dec 2006
Format:Paperback
This is a great, beautiful and inspirational collection.

I became aware of GS through Jack Kerouac and the Beats. Having said that though, GS - in my opinion - is no beat. He stands on his own. His background is Zen Buddhist; mine isn't. He writes mainly about his "own space", namely, Turtle Island (America); I'm European.
All reasons why I shouldn't appreciate GS's work as much as I do.

I bought this book on a whim. And it is the best buy I made in years. GS has a way of talking/writing about things that hooks you in. He is clearly very passionate about nature and conservation (again, things that have never been part of my world)and he has a knowledge that is deep and genuine. I can't help thinking about GS that "this guy Knows" with a capital K.

I don't know the first thing about poetry, but yet again his poems had me hooked and revealed the mystery and simplicity of the things in life - and their preciousness.

And so I dip into the book again to hear a timeless voice that is not America and not the Orient but purely Gary Snyder
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Capturing the spirit of a poet 7 Jun 1999
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
Gary Snyder has been an inspiration to me and to a lot of other people for many years now. This book is a joy to read because it gives us so much of his poetry, as well as his philosophy of life, nature and Buddhism over a course of 46 years. Much of it has been pulled from his various books, but reading it again after time has passed brings a new perspective and an added appreciation for the work. Thanks Gary, for doing the real work for all these years.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
Snyder has a way of showing things in life, that the rest of us miss because we are to busy living. Basically I can't say enoough good things aboout his work.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.9 out of 5 stars  14 reviews
20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A word gardener sampler 2 Oct 2000
By GENE GERUE - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Gary Snyder's power appears to come from mountain, meandering and meditation. In this thick sampler we visit his life to age sixty-eight through notes, prose and poems. The soil of his writings range across a fire lookout station in the Cascade Range, a Japanese Zen temple, the engine room of a Pacific freighter, an audience with the Dalai Lama, work and climbs with Ginsberg, Kerouac, Lew Welch, and Nanao Sakaki, travel in Botswana and Zimbabwe with his sons. The essence of his power is nature. "Nature is not a place to visit, it is home-and within that home territory there are more familiar and less familiar places." Two sons, one Pulitzer, many other awards so far. He writes, he reads, he teaches. One hopes that he never tires of planting words in the soil that is us. If there are any legitimate Earth heroes, Gary Snyder is one.
25 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Teacher, Intellect, Poet and hero, Gary Snyder is for you! 27 July 2001
By J.P. - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Gary Snyder is an amazing person. He is an intellect. He is a poet. He is a teacher, a traveler, and he is a deeply spiritual man. He lives the life that we should all attempt to lead, a conscious thinking, methodical, contemplative life, asking questions arriving at conclusions and taking action.
The Gary Snyder Reader is a good compilation of his life's work, the variety inside includes essay, interview, and poetry. This book is a well rounded view of his feelings and belief's about nature, and that of the nature of the soul, the nature of man. I agree with other reviews written here about the power of Synder's writing. His is a strong voice which is able to make a terrific argument about everything from the history of the Christian church and some reasons for underlying social perils to making a call for more activism in one's own community. Make a difference, be responsible, see things for what they are, yes this is all there.
There is also the voice of pain, loss, suffering, anger, and very deep love. Above all else, one REALLY gets the feeling that Synder loves, passionately. Gary Snyder is an extremely talented writer and poet. The same voice that won the Pulitzer is still here. Do more than read and enjoy his works, read and be changed.
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a primer for the 21st century 23 Mar 2001
By ron sterzinger - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
most of us first heard of snyder though kerouac's dharma bums. and i must confess that is why i was 1st attracted to him and his writings. but to list snyder as just another beat it not only inaccurate it does a diservice to him, his writings and his fearless intellect. snyder is not only a great poet but is also an insightful naturalist and a true zen master. this anthology is actually a zen bible for the 21st century, filled with enjoyable reading and great insights. these writings would make the soul of han shan dance, and sakyamuni smile. this is one of my favorite books. just reading it will lighten your spirit and make your soul dance with joy.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Capturing the spirit of a poet 7 Jun 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Gary Snyder has been an inspiration to me and to a lot of other people for many years now. This book is a joy to read because it gives us so much of his poetry, as well as his philosophy of life, nature and Buddhism over a course of 46 years. Much of it has been pulled from his various books, but reading it again after time has passed brings a new perspective and an added appreciation for the work. Thanks Gary, for doing the real work for all these years.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Snyder has got to be one of the best poets in modern poetry. 27 April 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Snyder has a way of showing things in life, that the rest of us miss because we are to busy living. Basically I can't say enoough good things aboout his work.
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