Max Gerber] I am often asked whether I agree with the new group selectionists, and the questioners are always surprised when I say I do not.
Edward Abbey Biography Edward Abbey Biography The controversial writings on the American West by American essayist and novelist Edward Abbey — exerted a strong influence on the development of the modern environmental movement in both its mainstream and radical forms.
Abbey's voluminous writings, mostly about or set in the Western deserts, ranged from intensely detailed descriptions of the natural world to angry or satirical commentaries on effects of modern civilization on American wildlands.
One of College essay that worked yale supplement most widely quoted aphorisms, first appearing in the essay collection Desert Solitaireheld that "Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell. Desert Solitaire and Abbey's comic novel The Monkey Wrench Gang achieved mass success, winning Abbey a strong following among members of the counterculture of the s and beyond.
The overarching emphasis of Abbey's writing, however, was personal and philosophical; like the 19th-century New England essayist Henry David Thoreau, to whom he has sometimes been compared, Abbey viewed the natural world in almost mystical terms.
Family Suffered Hard Times The oldest of five children, Abbey sometimes suggested that he had been born in a farmhouse in a tiny community with the idyllic name of Home, Pennsylvania.
In fact his birth occurred on January 29,in a hospital in Indiana, Pennsylvania, a considerably larger town nearby. His tendency toward unconventional attitudes was partly shaped by his father, Paul Revere Abbey, a committed socialist who subscribed to Soviet Life magazine for many years.
A rootless, searching quality in Edward Abbey's life may also have had its beginnings in his childhood: Abbey's family made the best of their situation; his mother, Mildred Postlewaite Abbey, instilled in him an appreciation of nature.
His creative energy began to show itself early on when he began to write and draw little comic books for which he would demand series subscriptions from siblings and friends.
In high school he did well in English classes and was thought of as highly intelligent but as something of an intimidating loner. This perception changed infor that summer, between his junior and senior years at Indiana High School, Abbey lived out a dream held by many young people: He had all his possessions and money stolen by one driver who gave him a ride, and in Flagstaff, Arizona, he spent a night on the floor of a jail cell with a group of drunks after being arrested for vagrancy.
He also fell in love with the West. For the next several years, Abbey's life resembled those of many other young American men. Drafted into the U. Army in the summer of after graduating from high school, he was sent to Italy and served as a clerk and military motorcycle police officer.
Honorably discharged inhe used the stipends he received as a result of the socalled G. Bill Servicemen's Readjustment Act to attend college, first at Indiana University in Pennsylvania, and then at the University of New Mexico, where he graduated with a philosophy degree in He married a college sweetheart, Jean Schmechel, in Published First Novel Underneath these activities, however, brewed various ideas of a nonconformist cast.
As an undergraduate, he had already run into trouble when he adorned the cover of a student literary journal with a controversial quotation ascribed to the 18th-century French philosopher Denis Diderot—"Mankind will never be free until the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest"—and then compounded the insult by attributing the line to Little Women author Louisa May Alcott.
Abbey found himself drawn toward creative writing. In he finished a novel, Jonathan Troy. He later disparaged the work, which drew heavily on the locale of his Pennsylvania boyhood, but the book landed with a major publisher Dodd, Mead and successfully launched his long literary career.
Later critics found much to admire in this early effort, and in Abbey found a ready market for his second novel, The Brave Cowboy: An Old Tale in a New Time.
The book, which dealt with the doomed heroics of an old-time cowboy in the modern world, was adapted to screen in the film Lonely Are the Brave with actor Kirk Douglas in the lead role of Jack Burns.
Douglas insisted on making the film over studio objections. Abbey also took steps that brought him closer to the desert he loved.
For many years between and he took temporary jobs with the U. National Park Service as a ranger and fire lookout.
A compulsive journal-keeper by this time, he wrote voluminously about the awe-inspiring rock formations that gave the park its name, about the ecology of the area, and about the future Abbey saw coming—a future in which fragile natural areas would be overrun with hordes of tourist automobiles.
Abbey's journals later became the basis for one of his most celebrated books, Desert Solitaire: A Season in the Wilderness. For much of the s and s, Abbey's life was restless.
His first marriage quickly ended in divorce, but in he married New York-born New Mexico art student Rita Deanin, and the couple had two sons.
Abbey enrolled in a master's program in philosophy at Yale University in but hated his symbolic logic class and left. The family bounced back and forth between the New York area, where Abbey held various jobs he was a technical writer, factory employee, and at one point a welfare caseworker and Albuquerque, where he received a master's degree in philosophy at the University of New Mexico in His thesis was entitled Anarchism and the Morality of Violence.
Around that time, Abbey and some like-minded friends began to commit occasional acts of sabotage against development projects in the West—they would, for example, pour sugar syrup into the oil tanks of construction equipment, thus putting it out of commission. He continued to write fiction; his third novel, Fire on the Mountainwas drawn on the real-life story of a rancher who refused to turn over land to the government for a missile test site.You want your Personal Essay to be a supplement to your application, not the only reason you get in.
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