Monday, September 21, 2009

Essay: "The Brown Wasps." Loren Eiseley. 1956.

People and animals cling to memories and to places that have since changed--a department store replaces a field that once was tenanted by insects, birds, rodents and rabbits. The elevated goes underground and pigeons who used to be fed at its stations find the food they counted on gone. People and animals cling to the memories of what once was.

Quote: “Then I came to a sign which informed me that this field was to be the site of a new Wanamakers suburban store. Thousands of obscure lives were about to perish….and the bodies of little white-footed mice would be crunched under the inexorable wheels of the bulldozers.”

Comment: Animals and people return to places that are no longer there. As Thomas Wolfe said, “You can’t go home again.” If you haven’t read Loren Eiseley’s essays, you need to purchase them at Amazon. They are almost an addiction to readers who are sensitive to the natural world around us. He is a scientist with a poet’s powers of observation. RayS.

Best American Essays of the Century.
Editors: Oates and Atwan. Boston, New York: Houghton Mifflin Company. 2000.

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