Edward Abbey


American Author and Essayist noted for advocacy of environmental issues and criticism of public land policies

Author Quotes

And the wind blows, the dust clouds darken the desert blue, pale sand and red dust drift across the asphalt trails and tumbleweeds fill the arroyos. Good-bye, come again.

A great thirst is a great joy when quenched in time.

A rancher is a farmer who farms the public lands with a herd of four-legged lawn mowers.

Above the mesa the sun hangs behind streaks and streamers of wind-whipped clouds. More storms coming.

All things excellent are as difficult as they are rare, said a wise man. If so, what happens to excellence when we eliminate the difficulty and the rarity?

Anton Bruckner wrote the same symphony nine times, trying to get it just right. He failed.

A house built on greed cannot long endure.

A shelf of classics for our young adults: Tolkien, Hesse, Castaneda, Kerouac, Salinger, Tom Robbins, and The Last Whole Earth Catalog.

According to the current doctrines of mystic-scientism, we human animals are really and actually nothing but "organic patterns of nodular energy composed of collocations of infinitesimal points oscillating on the multi-dimensional coordinates of the space-time continuum." I'll have to think about that. Sometime. Meantime, I'm going to gnaw on this sparerib, drink my Blatz beer, and contemplate the a posteriori coordinates of that young blonde over yonder, the one in the tennis skirt, tying her shoelaces.

All we have, it seems to me, is the beauty of art and nature and life, and the love which that beauty inspires.

Any hack can safely rail away at foreign powers beyond the sea; but a good writer is a critic of the society he lives in.

A journey into the wilderness is the freest, cheapest, most non-privileged of pleasures. Anyone with two legs and the price of a pair of army surplus combat boots may enter.

A sinister element pervaded the flow of time.

After supper I put on hat and coat and go outside again, sit on the table, and watch the sky and the desert dissolve slowly into mystery under the chemistry of twilight.

Alone in the silence, I understand for a moment the dread which many feel in the presence of primeval desert, the unconscious fear which compels them to tame, alter or destroy what they cannot understand, to reduce the wild and pre-human to human dimensions. Anything rather than confront directly the ante-human, that other world which frightens not through danger or hostility but in something far worse?its implacable indifference.

Anyone not paranoid in this world must be crazy. . . . Speaking of paranoia, it's true that I do not know exactly who my enemies are. But that of course is exactly why I'm paranoid.

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American Author and Essayist noted for advocacy of environmental issues and criticism of public land policies