Desert Solitaire: Max Kerns

I very much enjoy the writing style of Edward Abbey, is very diverse and vibrant.

p. 1 “this the most beautiful place on earth” I love how he starts out saying we all have this one place. I then started thinking if it was somewhat temporal. As if looking back in time our minds have a way of capturing a moment and highlighting the best parts, or eve perhaps the worst. I think we all have that place where we remember being a perfect place in in time. Then going back to it later the hill did not seem as big or there is a shopping mall in place of the dirt bike paths. So I guess it made me wonder if these special places were also tied to a certain moment in time.

P14-15 There is this idea of separation of human and nature due to modern “mechanical gadgets”. He describes this idea of the difference between burning Juniper branches and it seems to be this almost spiritual moment that resonates in all the senses. Unlike the flashlight, that might be deemed more useful. So do we separate ourselves in the modern age through our technology?

P24. Was curious about the ideas of animal domestication. Goes into these natural instinctual fears we have over some animal. I found the use of the serpent to highlight the story interesting. Makes one ponder why dogs and not snakes were more readily domesticated.

p.38-39 I am not really sure what is going on here with the rabbit. I understand the experiment, and understand the idea of predator vs prey. However, does it get to some basic human ideology of knowing our place?  It made me start thinking about life and how we perceive it. It had some echoes of  mass production of food and our separation from what we eat, how we often now mask the food so we don’t have to think about it “cowburger”. There was also something else. As I was sort of disgusted by the behavior, it did almost seem like a natural progression of events. I questions my own experiments as a child, on a much smaller scale, I would blaze ants with a magnifying glass, pull legs off grass hoppers to see what color their blood was, and even wrote my name with firefly on the sidewalk. I think about how silly that was as an adult, but wonder more about this intrinsic nature of humans.  Also to not, in the fashion he kills the bunny he does not feel remorse, I wonder if he would have felt its life escape if it would have had the same reaction, or was there another separation here.

P54. Wilderness should be untouched and persevered reminded me of the article of the group of people that pushed over the sand pillar in the Oregon state park. It made me very angry knowing how long the structure took to make and this nature of some to see if they could destroy it. OREGON LINK

p.129 Why change it? I love the interaction with the man from Cleveland. However once again it got me thinking about perspective and how we perceive wilderness. The idea of needed water in the desert seems a bit absurd, though it is interesting that we compare to what we know. I also like how both agree that they would not want to live in the other place.

Other reviews of the book that were also helpful to the dialogue: LINK

This one in particular written by Ken-ichi was very well done the attention to detail is wonderful: Link Along with his gallery.

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