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Book Title: The Art of Seeing Things|
The author of the book: John Burroughs
ISBN 13: 9780815606789
Edition: Syracuse University Publications in Continuing Education
Date of issue: January 1st 2001
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 325 KB
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A collection of essays by noted naturalist John Burroughs in which he contemplates a wide array of topics including farming, religion, and conservation. A departure from previous John Burroughs anthologies, this volume celebrates the surprising range of his writing to include religion, philosophy, conservation, and farming. In doing so, it emphasizes the process of the literary naturalist, specifically the lively connection the author makes between perceiving nature and how perception permeates all aspects of life experiences.
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Read information about the authorIn 1837, naturalist John Burroughs was born on a farm in the Catskills. After teaching, and clerking in government, Burroughs returned to the Catskills, and devoted his life to writing and gardening. He knew Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, Theodore Roosevelt, John Muir and Walt Whitman, writing the first biography of Whitman. Most of his 22 books are collected essays on nature and philosophy. In In The Light of Day (1900) he wrote about his views on religion: "If we take science as our sole guide, if we accept and hold fast that alone which is verifiable, the old theology must go." "When I look up at the starry heavens at night and reflect upon what is it that I really see there, I am constrained to say, 'There is no God' . . . " In his journal dated Feb. 18, 1910, he wrote: "Joy in the universe, and keen curiosity about it all—that has been my religion." He died on his 83rd birthday. The John Burroughs Sanctuary can be found near West Park, N.Y., and his rustic cabin, Slabsides, has been preserved. D. 1921.
According to biographers at the American Memory project at the Library of Congress, John Burroughs was the most important practitioner after Henry David Thoreau of that especially American literary genre, the nature essay. By the turn of the 20th century he had become a virtual cultural institution[peacock term] in his own right: the Grand Old Man of Nature at a time when the American romance with the idea of nature, and the American conservation movement, had come fully into their own. His extraordinary popularity and popular visibility were sustained by a prolific stream of essay collections, beginning with Wake-Robin in 1871.
In the words of his biographer Edward Renehan, Burroughs' special identity was less that of a scientific naturalist than that of "a literary naturalist with a duty to record his own unique perceptions of the natural world." The result was a body of work whose perfect resonance with the tone of its cultural moment perhaps explains both its enormous popularity at that time, and its relative obscurity since.
Since his death in 1921, John Burroughs has been commemorated by the John Burroughs Association. The association maintains the John Burroughs Sanctuary in Esopus, New York, a 170 acre plot of land surrounding Slabsides, and awards a medal each year to "the author of a distinguished book of natural history".
Twelve U.S. schools have been named after Burroughs, including public elementary schools in Washington, DC and Minneapolis, Minnesota, public middle schools in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and Los Angeles, California, a public high school in Burbank, California, and a private secondary school, John Burroughs School, in St. Louis, Missouri. Burroughs Mountain in Mount Rainier National Park is named in his honor.There was a medal named after John Burroughs and the John Burroughs Association publicly recognizes well-written and illustrated natural history publications. Each year the Burroughs medal is awarded to the author of a distinguished book of natural history, with the presentation made during the Association's annual meeting on the first Monday of April.
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