Freedom and Wilderness

I suppose doing a post about Edward Abbey is becoming a weekly thing now, but this one is the toppermost of the poppermost. Moab, Utah’s Back of Beyond Books sells a 4 CD collection of Abbey reading his own work that you can (and should) buy here. Each disc contains around 45 minutes of talking, which usually amounts to a chapter or two from one of his books. If you’re an Abbey fan, which it seems as though some of you are, you need this. Immediately. And if you’re not, listen below to an excerpt of “Freedom and Wilderness, Wilderness and Freedom” from The Journey Home. Who wouldn’t want to hear the guy who wrote this repeat it into a microphone?

We need wilderness because we are wild animals. Every man needs a place where he can go to go crazy in peace. Every Boy Scout troop deserves a forest to get lost, miserable, and starving in. Even the maddest murderer of the sweetest wife should get a chance for a run to the sanctuary of the hills. If only for the sport of it. For the terror, freedom, and delirium. Because we need brutality and raw adventure, because men and women first learned to love in, under, and all around trees, because we need for every pair of feet and legs about ten leagues of naked nature, crags to leap from, mountains to measure by, deserts to finally die in when the heart fails.

MP3: Ed Abbey – Excerpt from “Freedom and Wilderness, Wilderness and Freedom”


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6 Responses to Freedom and Wilderness

  1. daniel March 23, 2010 at 7:12 am #

    maddest murderer of the sweetest wife. lord lord.

  2. allie March 23, 2010 at 9:38 am #

    thank you for this today. my heart fluttered after reading it.

  3. poppy March 23, 2010 at 3:00 pm #

    I want to hear Abbey’s voice! Thanks for sharing!

  4. thekaiser June 19, 2010 at 3:59 am #

    thats really nice writing, would of never found it otherwise

  5. Leigh August 10, 2010 at 4:32 pm #

    thanks for that…. I was feeling really all alone in the world…isolated, alienated, stuck in a rut as they say, and then I read this, it gave me a sense of hope, a sense of movement, even if it’s only a movement of the mind, of thought, or feeling, I am happy that I had the chance to read this….thank you for filling the moment for me…


  1. Cold Splinters | Say Mayday - July 13, 2010

    [...] have spent a lot of time under the stars as a child. Aside from a mildly troubling obsession with Edward Abbey, you can find Jeff picking through old hiking magazines, Jeep brochures and troves of long [...]

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