March 3, 2007

Comments by Moderator Linda Lear

Thank you all for wonderful comments thus far. I'll just add that although it's well known that Carson's view of the future of nature and of life was impacted dramatically by the atom bomb, she was really coming to grips with human impact during her research for The Sea Around Us (a much neglected book in my view!). Her prize winning essay, "The Birth of an Island" presages this recognition and should be contrasted with her first and in some respects finest piece of nature writing, Under the Sea- Wind (which will be re-published with its original foreword, as well as drawings by Howard Frech by Penguin US in April.). In Under the Sea-Wind there are no human beings. There is mention of a fisherman and humans do not impact the sea, its rhythms or life or the creatures she describes so lovingly.
Pollution, human destruction, and hubris are all very early themes in Carson's writing, and the fact that she ends with a focus on clouds, radioactive dumping in the ocean, and climate change is really not so surprising.

Reading: Linda Lear's Introduction in Lost Woods: The Discovered Writings of Rachel Carson. Boston: Beacon Press, 1998. Reprinted by permission of the publisher.
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Willy Bemis said...

My family and I very much enjoyed your introduction to Lost Woods and look forward to reading the book (I ordered a copy). Also, I have had some very positive feedback about your project from the Shoals Marine Lab community. Students, staff and faculty will read three of Rachel Carson's books together, one in each block of our twelve-week season on Appledore Island, Maine. Although it is six miles offshore, Appledore Island is in Kittery Maine, which is home to the Brave Boat Harbor Division of the Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge.

joy2theworld said...

Thanks to FWS for creating a Rachel Carson Book Club, to Linda Lear for a fine introduction and to all who have commented.
This excellent 'program' is particularly timely for me as I'm recently retired. During this phase of life I intend to commit more time and effort to issues of conservation.
Learning that one of RC's greater goals was 'to awaken an emotional response to the world of nature' affirms the breadth of her vision.
One of my first volunteer projects was disseminating information about Nature Camps to local schools. What better time or place to introduce youngsters to the wonders of our planet, giving them a hands-on experiences and raising their awareness of the joy and complexity of nature.
Look forward to expanding my own awareness as I prepare for each months 'session' and read your comments.

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