Posted by: atowhee | November 12, 2019


Today Oregon Public Broadcasting radio re-ran an interview with Oregon-based writer, Barry Lopez.  It begins with his recollection of what he thought when he first visited Cape Foulweather*.

Here’s an interview done by NPR back in March.

A Lopez anthology called Horizon came out early this year.  Here is review of this book from the Guardian newspaper.

In The  Nation there is a harsher review, admiring but sharply critical of what we Boomers enjoyed and simultaneously trashed as we treated the natural world as entertainment.

Here is an excerpt: “I have long admired Lopez’s work and related to his particular strand of environmentalism, which views plants and animals and ecosystems as certainly sacred, maybe bordering on divine. Lopez is around the same age as my parents, and reading this book I felt our generational divide acutely, in a way I never had before. Lopez is certainly conscious of the losses that are being passed on…  But no amount of reflection squares our experiences. For those of us who grew up learning about climate change as a looming threat, and for those who are young now and have inherited a fully formed crisis, reading about this whole lifetime spent wandering the pristine-by-comparison Earth is like visiting the palace at Versailles—there’s beauty to appreciate and history to absorb, but the opulence almost passes understanding.”

Lopez does say in the OPB radio interview that what we people have thrown away and destroyed is often not recoverable or reparable.  Further, he says we could see that in the hominid line our imagination may have been a faulty evolutionary development.  We may see the end of the hominid line. “Some things should not be touched.”

Lopez has been diagnosed with terminal cancer.  For almost five decades he has lived in the forest along the MacKenzie River, uphill from Eugene, Oregon.

*Captain James Cook first touched land in North America at Oregon’s Cape Foulweather in 1778.  It was on his third and fatal voyage to the Pacific for the British Navy. Click here for more on that voyage.

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