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Dorothy W.

I must have read this one because I read the entire collection, but I don't remember it at all. It sounds like an essay of the sort I wrote about yesterday -- the subject doesn't really interest me, but the essay sounds good anyway and well worth reading.

Danielle

Dorothy--I did enjoy the essay, but I don't tend to read science or nature books very much (not that the subjects don't interest me but I read so little nonfiction it's just hard to squeeze everything I want to read in). The nice thing about writing about what I'm reading as I will hopefully remember longer or at least can come back and reread my post. So I totally understand what you wrote in your post about the essay on strip clubs! :)

BooksPlease

How interesting! Actually I don't much like going back to a place that I have good memories of because it's never the same when you do go back.

litlove

I am hugely attached to place, so I know what he means. I have his autobiography to read (All the Strange Hours), after it was recommended to me by another blogger. I don't read much nature writing, and thought this would be a gentle way into it - he seems like a lovely stylist.

catharina

The above quotes struck a chord with me, especially the last one. I found that really moving. Thanks for sharing.

Stefanie

This sounds like a beautiful essay. I'm going to have to look up what books he's written.

Edd

Danielle,

I came very close to not leaving a comment but I have read "The Brown Wasps" by Eiseley so many times within the last few years especially after one doctor visit in a state not my own. I have read and reread the passage, “Something that had to be held in the air, or sustained in the mind, because it was part of my orientation in the universe and I could not survive without it,” that I dream of it. Why? From someone slowly losing their memory where will I be when that time arrives when my memory is gone. I don’t mean to get mushy and all but I still have an extremely hard time trying to answer that question when my time arrives.

Danielle

BooksPlease--It can be strange returning to somewhere you once knew--don't houses always seem so much smaller than when you knew them as a child? It can be a little disorienting.
Litlove--His writing is really lovely and I read this through twice--enjoying it even more the second time. I also don't read much nature, but as always essays seem such a nice way to read about a topic (or an author) you might not otherwise. I'll be curious about that biography when you get to it!
Catharina--That last quote really was very lovely. I sometimes hate quoting so much, but I can't improve on an author's voice, so it's nice to 'let them speak for themselves'.
Stefanie--I think he wrote quite a lot, and I should really read more since he was born in NE. I tend to forget local authors!
Edd--That has to be a frightening experience, so I can understand how this would resonate with you so deeply. He writes so eloquently--about that tree that he remembered so vividly that was no longer there. I think anyone reading this essay would understand how you feel and could empathize! And I'm so glad you left your comment--please always do!

Cam

I read several essays by Eisley when I was in college. About a month ago, while walking through a wildlife preserve, I struggled to remember his name. I finally recalled it; your post reminds me now that I need to add him to my wishlist.

Danielle

Cam--I had never read him before, but I'm glad I finally did. I'd love to read more of his nature essays. This is an area I feel very inadequate in--reading-wise, yet it's so important. And this was a lovely essay if you get a change to read it!

Easyintoit

Dorothy, Thank you drawing attention to 'The Brown Wasps'. It is certainly one of my favorites. I live in Lincoln, NE, Loren's childhood home and where he comes back to after 60 years to find the tree, long since gone. Our sense of place, where we come from no doubt grounds us in our lives.

There is another book entitled, 'A Childhood: the biography of a place' by Harry Crews. This too is about the special significance of place, especially where we come from in childhood and the power it wields throughout our life. However, the power of Loren's imagery in this short essay is chilling and conveys the deep sense of love and belonging we all share for home. It is hard to find anyone who can say it better or more poignantly than Loren Eiseley.

Danielle

Easyintoit--I knew he was a NE author but I didn't realize that the place he was talking about had been in Lincoln. I've always meant to go back and look for more of his work--thanks for the reminder to do so. I will also look for the Crews book--I really loved this essay--it really resonated with me. Place is so important and I always wonder about people who move around a lot and whether they feel adrift. Thanks for the comment.

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