216 Chapters
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Medium 9781574412086

4. Pete Gunter, “A Sense of One Place as the Focus of Another: The Making of a Conservationist”

Edited by David Taylor University of North Texas Press PDF

Chapter 4

Pete Gunter

A Sense of One Place as the Focus of Another:

The Making of a

Conservationist

Pete A. Y. Gunter is past president of the Big Thicket Association and currently serves as Big Thicket Task Force Chairman of the Texas Committee on

Natural Resources. He grew up in Houston and Gainesville and has divided his time between writing on environmental issues, teaching philosophy, and writing about the relationship between philosophy and environmental ethics.

Among the products of this latter preoccupation are Texas Land Ethics (1997) with Max Oelschlaeger, plus numerous articles and reviews.

I have been haunted, while writing this paper, by Annie Dillard’s remarks concerning human perception in Pilgrim at Tinker Creek. We see the world impressionistically, she admonishes, noting the green fringe of trees, the blue sky, a swatch of grass, a few human figures in the foreground or background. We feel at home in a world which we have constituted for ourselves out of a mixture of impressionistic gloss and sheer familiarity:

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The Silences of Bob Kaufman: A Cento

IU Press Journals Indiana University Press ePub

the truth is an empty bowl of rice

truth is a burning guitar

it takes so much to be nothing

long green journeys into sounds of death

you get off at Fifty-ninth Street forever

eternity has wet sidewalks

all those well-meaning people

who gave me obscure books

when what I really needed

was a good meal

ordinary people, that is, people whose annihilation

is handled on a corporate scale

they have memorized the pimples

on your soul

whether I am a poet or not, I use

fifty dollars’ worth of air

every day, cool

dear people, let us eat Jazz

so we sat down on our bloodsoaked

garments and listened to Jazz

one thousand saxophones infiltrate the city

my face is covered with maps of dead nations

the poet nailed to the bone of the world

I love him because his eyes leak

in most cases, a sane hermit will beat

a good big man

I think of Chaplin and roll a mental cigarette

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Medium 9780253018632

“My Spirit is There”

IU Press Journals Indiana University Press ePub

an interview with Edouard Duval-Carrié

Kaiama L. Glover

IN OCTOBER OF 2012, I interviewed Edouard Duval-Carrié—one of Haiti’s most important contemporary artists—at Duke University’s Haiti Laboratory, where he was spending a semester as a Visiting Professor. The interview was part of a documentary about Haitian art titled In the Eye of the Spiral, directed by Raynald Leconte. In these excerpts, Duval-Carrié speaks about a collective art project he completed in 2011 with faculty and students at Duke, and also about his past, present, and future as an artist seeking to represent Haiti.

Kaiama L. Glover: Can you tell us where we’re sitting right now, and what this place means to you?

Edouard Duval-Carrié: We’re here at Duke University, in North Carolina. We’re inside the Haiti Laboratory, which is one of the few international centers that focuses on Haiti with such intensity. The directors, Deborah Jenson and Laurent Dubois, invited me to put together a project with them. You can see it behind me. For this project I asked for input from the students—they’re not really students, but researchers, but I have fun calling them students because they are a little bit younger than me—and over the course of two days they brought me everything they could find in terms of visual material about Haiti, from Saint-Domingue through the Revolution, and all that has happened since then. All of them were doctoral students working in different areas, and we worked around a theme: “Haiti: History Embedded in Amber.”

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Buffalo Eddy

Scott Russell Sanders Indiana University Press ePub

From pristine headwaters in Yellowstone National Park, the Snake River flows through western Wyoming, across Idaho, and into Washington before joining the Columbia River near the Hanford Nuclear Site, a destination as toxic as any on Earth. Hanford, repository for two-thirds of our nation’s high-level radioactive waste, has leaked its lethal brew into air and water and soil since reactors there began making fuel for bombs during World War II. Despite its pure beginnings, by the time it reaches the Columbia, the Snake bears its own load of pollution, mainly runoff from irrigated croplands, feedlots, and fish farms. Such a fall from innocence to corruption is a common fate for American rivers, but few have fallen as dramatically as the Snake.

Over its thousand-mile course, the Snake cuts through mountain ranges, surges across sagebrush plains, and roars through canyons—or at least it did cut and surge and roar, until a series of fifteen dams built during the past century reduced the river to a string of lakes. The dams have been profitable for ranchers, farmers, barge companies, and electric utilities, but they have proven disastrous for salmon. Huge numbers of returning coho, chinook, and sockeye perish at each dam, chiefly from the strain of climbing fish ladders. Of those that survive the climb, many die from the higher temperatures and increased predation in the reservoirs, and others lose their way in the slack water, where the current is too weak to offer direction, and where silt blocks the light and pollution muffles the smells they need to guide them to their spawning grounds.

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Straddling Shifting Spheres

IU Press Journals Indiana University Press ePub

a conversation with David Chariandy

Am I a writer? An artist? I do not know. I know, though, that if tomorrow someone managed to convince me that all is hunky-dory with those who look like me, I would indulge myself in long Fieldingesque works . . . I would call myself a writer. Right now, I feel the term intellectual worker, which I have heard Lloyd Best of the Tapia House Movement in Trinidad use, best describes me.

—ERNA BRODBER, “Fiction in the Scientific Procedure”

CARIBBEAN WRITERS HAVE a long tradition of straddling the worlds of critical and creative work. Some, like Erna Brodber and Kamau Brathwaite, formally pursued academic studies and continued to practice in their discipline while also producing fiction and poetry; and others, like Derek Walcott and M. NourbeSe Philip, wrote cultural criticism alongside their poetry without the official sanction of a doctorate but often from the ivory tower nonetheless. The boundaries between the academic and cultural spheres have never been firm and the balance never even, but our theorists are frequently also our poets, our novelists, our playwrights. Such intellectual workers consciously shift between various types of writing as they grapple with Caribbean concerns.

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Medium 9781574412086

11. Naomi Shihab Nye, “Home Address” from Never in a Hurry

Edited by David Taylor University of North Texas Press PDF

Chapter 11

Naomi Shihab Nye

Home Address

Naomi Shihab Nye’s seventh and most recent anthology, Is This Forever, or what? Poems & Paintings From Texas, came out in 2004. “Home Address” is from her collection Never in a Hurry: Essays on People and Places. She lives in San Antonio with her husband, photographer Michael Nye and their son. Her collection of poems 19 Varieties of Gazelle: Poems of the Middle

East was a National Book Award finalist. Forthcoming in 2005 are A Maze Me

(poems for girls), Going Going (a novel for teens) and You and Yours (poems).

She is one of the many Texans who still believes in separation of church and state.

Yesterday we paid off the mortgage on our ninety-year-old white house on South Main Avenue. I drove from San Antonio to Austin with a cashier’s check in my purse and a receipt marked HAND-DELIVERED for the mortgage company to sign. I wanted to see that stamp marked

PAID IN FULL, to step back out the door into the sun and blink hard and take a full fine breath.

When I entered the marble lobby of the office building—cool and blank as any bank—beams of light were slanting through high windows onto the gleaming floor and the music playing over loudspeakers was the very same trumpet anthem I walked down the aisle to at our wedding

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Medium 9780253000958

Speaking for the Land

Scott Russell Sanders Indiana University Press ePub

At the dedication ceremony for the University of Wisconsin Arboretum in June 1934, the pioneering ecologist Aldo Leopold began his remarks by declaring: “For twenty centuries and longer, all civilized thought has rested upon one basic premise: that it is the destiny of man to exploit and enslave the earth. The biblical injunction to ‘go forth and multiply’ is merely one of many dogmas which imply this attitude of philosophical imperialism.”

Leopold was not shy about making such grand claims, especially when, as in this brief talk, he wished to distill a complex argument into a few words. One could cite many examples of “civilized thought,” including the teachings of Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism, and Native American cultures, that do not advocate enslavement of the Earth. And one could cite biblical injunctions that urge us to be caretakers rather than exploiters of the creation. Still, there was ample evidence in Leopold’s time that the majority of his fellow citizens regarded the Earth as purely a source of raw materials, to be mined, dammed, deforested, plowed, paved, and otherwise manipulated to suit human needs, without regard for the needs of other species and with scant regard for the needs of future generations. This attitude of “philosophical imperialism,” which wrought so much damage in the Dust Bowl years, remains powerful in our day, and is now wreaking havoc on a global scale.

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Medium 9780253019028

Over Seas

IU Press Journals Indiana University Press ePub

Mer d’Asphalte. ©2012 Rym Khene.

KOFI WAS LOOKING over the whitewashed walls of the Elmina Castle. Three centuries before, he might have seen a row of desperate Africans, shackled together and exiting through the narrow Door of No Return. They would have shuffled across the beach and boarded a ship whose crew would have given some of them to the sea and sold the survivors in the Americas. But on that day the beach was teeming with fishermen and fishmongers. Men, their upper bodies chiseled by years of battling the sea, dragged in gigantic nets laden with fish and rubbish while women waited impatiently with deep enamel basins in hand, their eyes trained on the day’s catch, poised to haggle with the weary fishermen.

They didn’t come to the castle to see the dark and airless slave dungeons but to stand on the rampart overlooking the sea and boyishly fantasize about when they, too, would cross the expanse of foamy water to America.

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Medium 9781574416367

Chasing Bayla: Boston Globe / By Sarah Schweitzer

Gayle Reaves, Editor UNT Press PDF

Chasing Bayla

Boston Globe

Oct. 25, 2014

By Sarah Schweitzer

“Thirty meters,” Dr. Michael Moore called out.

Moore braced himself against the steel of the Zodiac’s platform tower as the boat closed in on the whale in the heaving Florida waters. Through the rangefinder, he could see the tangled mass of ropes cinched tightly around her. It was impossible to tell where the ropes began and where they ended.

This much he knew. The ropes were carving into her. Bayla was in pain.

He was tempted to look away. It was almost too much to see.

Her V-shaped spray erupted then disappeared into a mist as she slipped beneath the surface. A spot-plane circling overhead radioed. They could still see her silhouette. She hadn’t gone deep.

“Get in close if you can,” Moore said to the boat’s driver.

Bayla would come up again soon.

148

Best American Newspaper Narratives, Vol. 3

Then he would have his chance.

For nearly three decades Moore had dedicated himself to North Atlantic right whales like Bayla. He knew every inch of their anatomy, every detail of the strange and glorious physiology that made them so astoundingly powerful and so utterly defenseless against the ropes.

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Medium 9780253356864

17. Idleness

Robert B. Ray Indiana University Press ePub

Walden offers itself as a practical book, but anyone hoping to find a set of immediately operable instructions will be confronted by its contradictory advice. On the one hand, the book’s first two chapters and its “Conclusion”—at once Thoreau’s most hectoring and inspiring—propose deliberation and effort as the means to a vivid, wide-awake life. In one of Walden’s most famous sentences, Thoreau declares, “I know of no more encouraging fact than the unquestionable ability of man to elevate his life by a conscious endeavor” (64). The key word endeavor will return near the end:

I learned this, at least, by my experiment; that if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours. (217)

His repeated insistence that we “put the foundations” under our “castles in the air” (217) casts these parts of Walden in the active voice: we can work on our lives. “To affect the quality of the day,” he concludes, “that is the highest of arts” (65).

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Medium 9780253019059

Indiana University Connections

Edited and with an Introduction by Owen Indiana University Press ePub

What the country is worrying about—at least on the Doylestown
Road—seems to be neither Hitler nor Mussolini, but Julia

PHILADELPHIA—“Julia, come here! Julia, stop bothering the gentleman!”

Julia was a little puppy dog, who lives on the Doylestown road up north of Philadelphia, in one of those old farmhouses so frequently turned into “Ye Olde Oaken Bucket Inn for overnight guests.” . . .

The name of the imaginary inn refers to the prize that goes to the winner of the annual IU-Purdue football game. The trophy was not actually awarded to the winner until 1925 (which turned out to be a scoreless tie), so Pyle’s use of the name provides evidence that he was still very much aware of what was happening in Indiana.

Two sets of tires took Ernie through 38 states, 5 Canadian provinces, and half of Mexico; twice he ran out of gas and it was not an accident

WASHINGTON— . . .

In over 300 days of driving, there has been only one day when I had an appointment at a definite time at the other end. It was in southern Indiana, and an old school friend whom I hadn’t seen for 13 years was going to meet me at 12:30 for lunch in a town along the way.

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Medium 9781574416367

The Favor

Gayle Reaves, Editor UNT Press ePub
Medium 9780253000958

Honoring the Ordinary

Scott Russell Sanders Indiana University Press ePub

For years, I could ignore the charges raised against the memoir, just as I could ignore the charges raised against burglary, because I had no intention of committing either offense. But then the circumstances of my life and the sad state of my country prompted me to write a book called A Private History of Awe, which I thought of as an extended essay about my lifelong spiritual search, but which my editor informed me was, indeed, a memoir. When the book was published in 2006, it bore that label on the jacket for all to see. And so, having joined the suspect company of memoirists, I began to take a personal interest in the accusations leveled against this literary form.

The most common accusations often appear in the guise of two blunt questions: How could you write a whole book about yourself? And how much of it did you make up? The questioners assume that a memoir must be an exercise in narcissism, and that it is likely to be dishonest to boot. One can easily find published examples that would justify either suspicion. There has never been a shortage of egotists or frauds, so it’s no wonder that some of them compose and peddle books. Although these two human failings often go together, for the sake of clarity I’m going to separate them, speaking first about the dangers of deceit and then about the dangers of narcissism.

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Medium 9780253220042

1. Santa Claus in Baghdad

Elsa Marston Indiana University Press ePub

A STORY FROM IRAQ (2000)

 

Amal listened gloomily to the little speech that Mr. Kareem had prepared. He spoke in a halting fashion, almost as though he were making an apology, but clearly he was as happy as a bird.

“And I know,” he concluded, “that my students will greet their new teacher with respect and helpfulness, and will show how well Mr. Kareem has taught them about our glorious literary heritage.” He laughed awkwardly at his little joke, and some of the girls responded with polite smiles.

A shy bachelor, Mr. Kareem inspired more respect than affection among his students. Many complained of his tough assignments and rigorous grading, although Amal thought he was quite fair. In any case, no one could deny that Mr. Kareem taught with competence and, in his stammering way, enthusiasm. He loved the works of the old poets and tried valiantly to convey to his students the richness of Arabic literature.

Another teacher leaving us, thought Amal. How many—four this fall?

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An Unexpected Gift

IU Press Journals Indiana University Press ePub

an excerpt from a forthcoming novel

AJAKA CHEWED THE last of his bitter kola and gazed forlornly out of the barricaded window of his Ikot-Ekepene Road flat into the busy city streets. Was today the day they would find the missing child?

It was the will of the Alusi, the old gods, that the fortunetellers fail. It was their way of reminding the rainmakers that no one, not even a priest, could tell a god what to do.

It was the pronouncement of the local meteorologist on the beat-up FM radio he kept beside his bamboo-sleeping mat that, It will not rain today, like a blind priest trying to read the hand of God. The breeze from the harmattan wind had ashened his skin and cracked his lips that morning like it had the morning before, but Ajaka was not surprised to find streaks of grey lining the aging sky. He had lived in the Jungle City long enough to know that no one could accurately predict the passing of the rainy season. Not even the entreaties of the rainmakers from the villages and the local government areas could keep Kamalu’s double-headed axe from cracking the calabashes holding the waters of the sky in place; or Afo, the alusi of tornadoes and hurricanes and the goddess of the northern sky, from whirling her skirt and using the air it whipped up as a cutlass to cut open the sky whenever she willed it. It was the will of the Alusi, the old gods, that the fortunetellers fail. It was their way of reminding the rainmakers that no one, not even a priest, could tell a god what to do.

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