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Topic: A Pilgrim at Tinker Creek, Nothing else compares< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 19 2013, 8:41 pm  Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I've been nursing this book for years.  Nursing for a few reasons; first, it is so densely poetic, that it demands to be slowly savored.  Second, as I got closer and closer to the end, I became reluctant to read, because I really didn't want to be finished with it.

But all good things come to an end, and I finally finished it a few nights ago.  I expect this book has been discussed on this forum numerous times, but I have to say that this is one of the most extraordinary books I have ever read, on nature or any other subject.  The language is stunning in its beauty, its poetry, its evocative descriptiveness.  Her deep and extremely unsentimental understanding of nature and natural processes is both savage and beautiful.  Her spiritual reflections are likewise unflinchingly realistic,  lacking any dewy-eyed religious sentimentality.  I just hardly even know what to say about this book.  It is in a class all by itself.
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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 19 2013, 10:07 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

The deflating frog scene was chilling.

Amazing skill at observation.
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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 20 2013, 7:47 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I probably shouldn't do this. . . My original admiration of the book was somewhat tarnished by finding how much of it was fiction.

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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 21 2013, 2:02 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I have been reading and rereading this book ever since I discovered a first edition copy of it in a used book store (for $1!) back in the mid 80s. It has lived on my bedside nightstand for decades. I've even read parts of it for the benefit of others. So, it has a special place in my "library". I have savored the poetic nature of it particularly, even if I haven't taken it to be a perfectly accurate "diary of events" or "scientific treatise".


(RebeccaD @ Nov. 20 2013, 6:47 pm)
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I probably shouldn't do this. . . My original admiration of the book was somewhat tarnished by finding how much of it was fiction.
What you shouldn't do is make such a statement so cryptically - though I strongly suspect that you are merely saying that the book isn't a recording of specific, actual events, like those who are surprised when some exalted person of high station turns out to be a human with very human frailties. Let's face it: even an hour-by-hour, minute-by-minute recitation of the events in our lives is subjective and highly selective. I don't think I ever took this book to be even that. The structure of this book is as important as the "facts" presented. It's a work of poetry more than a work of prose.
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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 22 2013, 9:56 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(RebeccaD @ Nov. 20 2013, 7:47 pm)
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I probably shouldn't do this. . . My original admiration of the book was somewhat tarnished by finding how much of it was fiction.

Interesting, I guess I hadn't really stopped to think about it.  I don't think this really diminishes my admiration for the book, though.  I am more of Gabby's view that this is a book that transcends the categories of fact and fiction which are, after all, artificial categories to begin with.
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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 22 2013, 12:59 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Sorry, I didn't mean to be cryptic, and couldn't now find references to back this up if my life depended on it.  But as I recall, she was accused fairly creditably of having either made up (based, admittedly, on the scientific literature) or "borrowed" from the accounts of others, key incidents like the dissolving frog.  It's not that they weren't real, and she certainly wrote them well (I did like the book, though I don't care for her novels).  It's just that there's something pretty basically dishonest about passing off as your own experiences things that didn't happen to you.

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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 23 2013, 12:56 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I'm with Rebecca D on this one.  Lots of controversy with this book.  I remember hearing a radio program that said the much-lauded first chapter was totally made up.  I wish I could remember the program (NPR's To the Best of Our Knowledge perhaps).

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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 23 2013, 6:56 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic.  Ignore posts   QUOTE

N/m
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