2018-05-21 08:00

A Matter of Style

Jim Dodge, from the Foreword, The Gary Snyder Reader:

The last question came from a young man who wanted to know what Gary meant by the paradoxical statement that ends the seminal Four Changes: “Knowing that nothing need be done is the place from which we begin to move.” Gary replied—and here I’m working from memory—that Nature bats last, is eminently capable of caring for herself against human foolishness, and no doubt will remain long after our demise. Nature doesn’t need us to save her.

I could feel the audience sag, then bristle. Someone called out, “Then why work to stop the destruction?”

Gary grinned hugely, leaned slightly forward, and replied without a quiver of hesitation, “Because it is a matter of character.” Then, with an absolutely wild glitter of delight in his eyes, added, “And it’s a matter of style.”


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