In promoting a life close to nature and exploring the relation between the inner mind and the outer world, Gary Snyder falls into the tradition of American romanticism following Thoreau and Whitman. But whereas the transcendentalists perceived nature as symbolic and looked through it to find spiritual truths, Snyder emphasizes how the spiritual takes shape within the real, physical, and imaginative interactions between elements that make up the ecology of one's place. His engagement with the natural world and resistance to the monoculture of Western commercial industrialism have turned him toward environmental activism as well as philosophical meditations as lucid and penetrating as those of Emerson or John Muir. His work champions the idea of wilderness, where the multiplicity of nature and culture—inherently interconnected—can manifest itself in all its forms.Less
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