Explore the most impactful and insightful quotes and sayings by Edward Abbey, and enrich your perspective with the wisdom. Share these inspiring Edward Abbey quotes pictures with your friends on social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, or your personal blogs, completely free. Here are the top 676 Edward Abbey quotes for you to read and share.

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Life is hard? True - but let's love it anyhow, though it breaks every bone in our bodies. -- Edward Abbey
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Art, science, philosophy, religion
each offers at best only a crude simplification of actual living experience. -- Edward Abbey
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What ideal, immutable Platonic cloud could equal the beauty and perfection of any ordinary everyday cloud floating over, say, Tuba City, Arizona, on a hot day in June? -- Edward Abbey
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Reincarnation? There is such a thing. What could be more Mozartian than the Nutcracker Suite? -- Edward Abbey
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I will not. I will never surrender. I will fight through to the finsh, whatever the outcome. I will not quit. I will not betray and desert the best thing in my life. No, no, I will not surrender...Earth is the place for love. -- Edward Abbey
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I hate and fear violence myself, have always avoided barroom brawls, and tho' I'm a bit of a gun-nut, and a member of the NRA, I never shoot at anything but beer cans and mule deer. (In season.) And seldom hit either, except by accident. -- Edward Abbey
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In everything but brains and brawn, women are vastly superior to men. A different race. -- Edward Abbey
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There are only two kinds of books
good books and the others. The good are winnowed from the bad through the democracy of time. -- Edward Abbey
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Belief? What do I believe in? I believe in sun. In rock. In the dogma of the sun and the doctrine of the rock. I believe in blood, fire, woman, rivers, eagles, storm, drums, flutes, banjos, and broom-tailed horses ... -- Edward Abbey
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You cannot reshape human nature without mutilating human beings. -- Edward Abbey
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The author: an imaginary person who writes real books. -- Edward Abbey
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The Proustian aquarium: grotesque and gorgeous fish drifting with languid fins through a subaqueous medium of pale violet polluted ink. -- Edward Abbey
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The extreme clarity of the desert light is equaled by the extreme individuation of desert life forms. Love flowers best in openness and freedom. -- Edward Abbey
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I would give ten years off the beginning of my life to see, only once, Tyrannosaurus rex come rearing up from the elms of Central Park, a Morgan police horse screaming in its jaws. We can never have enough of nature. -- Edward Abbey
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You can't belay a man who's falling in love. -- Edward Abbey
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Jack Kerouac, like a sick refrigerator, worked too hard at keeping cool and died on his mama's lap from alcohol and infantilism. -- Edward Abbey
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Writing on the wall: Will trade three blind crabs for two with no teeth. -- Edward Abbey
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Lightning streaks like gunfire through the clouds, volleys of thunder shake the air. -- Edward Abbey
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We know this apodictic rock beneath our feet. That dogmatic sun above our heads. The world of dreams, the agony of love and the foresight of death. That is all we know. And all we need to know? Challenge that statement. -- Edward Abbey
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One must be reasonable in one's demands on life. For myself, all that I ask is: (1) accurate information; (2) coherent knowledge; (3) deep understanding; (4) infinite loving wisdom; (5) no more kidney stones, please. -- Edward Abbey
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In art as in life, form and subject, body and soul, are one. -- Edward Abbey
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Most academic economists know nothing of economy. In fact, they know little of anything. -- Edward Abbey
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I am hopeful, though not full of hope, and the only reason I don't believe in happy endings is because I don't believe in endings. -- Edward Abbey
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Instant communication is not communication at all but merely a frantic, trivial, nerve-wracking bombardment of cliches, threats, fads, fashions, gibberish and advertising. -- Edward Abbey
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The itch for naming things is almost as bad as the itch for possessing things. Let them and leave them alone
they'll survive for a few more thousand years, more or less, without any glorification from us. -- Edward Abbey
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Vanity, vanity, nothing but vanity: the itch for naming things is almost as bad as the itch for possessing things. -- Edward Abbey
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The ready availability of suicide, like sex and alcohol, is one of life's basic consolations. -- Edward Abbey
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Places: a cold, bleak, lonely day on the rim at Muley Point, Utah. And the heart-cracking loveliness of the blood-smeared, bitter, incomprehensible slaughterhouse of a world ... -- Edward Abbey
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Philosophy without action is the ruin of the soul. One brave deed is worth a hundred books, a thousand theories, a million words. Now as always we need heroes. And heroines! Down with the passive and the limp. -- Edward Abbey
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You can't see anything from a car; you've got to get out of the goddamn contraption and walk, better yet crawl, on hands and knees, over the sandstone and through the thornbrush and cactus. When traces of blood begin to mark your trail, you'll see something, maybe. -- Edward Abbey
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I have found through trial and error that I work best under duress. In fact
I work only under duress. -- Edward Abbey
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Our 'neoconservatives' are neither new nor conservative, but old as Babylon and evil as Hell. -- Edward Abbey
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Our job is to record, each in his own way, this world of light and shadow and time that will never come again exactly as it is today. -- Edward Abbey
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I took the other road, all right, but only because it was the easy road for me, the way I wanted to go. If I've encountered some unnecessary resistance that's because most of the traffic is going the other way. -- Edward Abbey
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There is science, logic, reason; there is thought verified by experience. And then there is California. -- Edward Abbey
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Walking takes longer ... than any other known form of locomotion except crawling. Thus it stretches time and prolongs life. Life is already too short to waste on speed. -- Edward Abbey
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My books always make the best-seller lists in Wolf Hole, Arizona, and Hanksville, Utah. -- Edward Abbey
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There is a way of being wrong which is also sometimes necessarily right. -- Edward Abbey
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I thought of the wilderness we had left behind us, open to sea and sky, joyous in its plenitude and simplicity, perfect yet vulnerable, unaware of what is coming, defended by nothing, guarded by no one. -- Edward Abbey
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The rebel is doomed to a violent death. The rest of us can look forward to sedated expiration in a coma inside an oxygen tent, with tubes inserted in every bodily orifice. -- Edward Abbey
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Is there a God? Who knows? Is there an angry unicorn on the dark side of the moon? -- Edward Abbey
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I always write with my .357 magnum handy. Why? Well, you never know when God may try to interfere. -- Edward Abbey
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The sneakiest form of literary subtlety, in a corrupt society, is to speak the plain truth. The critics will not understand you; the public will not believe you; your fellow writers will shake their heads. Laughter, praise, honors, money, and the love of beautiful girls will be your only reward. -- Edward Abbey
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The rich can buy everything but health, virtue, friendship, wit, good looks, love, pride, intelligence, grace, and, if you need it, happiness. -- Edward Abbey
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Belief in God? An afterlife? I believe in rock: this apodictic rock beneath my feet. -- Edward Abbey
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I always wanted to be a cowboy. But alas! I was burdened early with certain inescapable obligations to world literature. -- Edward Abbey
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As to the charge that I am a cranky old man, I plead guilty. -- Edward Abbey
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A man's duty? To be ready
with rifle or rood
to defend his home when the showdown comes. -- Edward Abbey
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The most common form of terrorism in the U.S.A. is that carried on by bulldozers and chain saws. -- Edward Abbey
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Despair leads to boredom, electronic games, computer hacking, poetry and other bad habits. -- Edward Abbey
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Defiance is beautiful. The defiance of power, especially great or overwhelming power, exalts and glorifies the rebel. -- Edward Abbey
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When in doubt about drinking from an unknown spring look for life. If the water is scummed with algae, crawling with worms, grubs, larvae, spiders and liver flukes, be reassured, drink hearty, you'll get nothing worse than dysentery. But if it appears innocent and pure, beware. -- Edward Abbey
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We know so very little about this strange planet we live on, this haunted world where all answers lead only to more mystery. -- Edward Abbey
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The feminist notion that the whole of human history has been nothing but a vast intricate conspiracy by men to enslave their wives, mothers, daughters, and sisters presents us with an intellectual neurosis for which we do not yet have a name. -- Edward Abbey
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The tragedy of modern war is that the young men die fighting each other - instead of their real enemies back home in the capitals. -- Edward Abbey
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Football is a game for trained apes. That, in fact, is what most of the players are
retarded gorillas wearing helmets and uniforms. The only thing more debased is the surrounding mob of drunken monkeys howling the gorillas on. -- Edward Abbey
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Anywhere, anytime, I'd sacrifice the finest nuance for a laugh, the most elegant trope for a smile. -- Edward Abbey
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When guns are outlawed, only the Government will have guns. The Government - and a few outlaws. If that happens, you can count me among the outlaws. -- Edward Abbey
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As for writing, that's a cruel hard business. Unless you're very lucky it'll break your heart. -- Edward Abbey
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For myself I hold no preferences among flowers, so long as they are wild, free, spontaneous. Bricks to all greenhouses! Black thumb and cutworm to the potted plant! -- Edward Abbey
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We live in the kind of world where courage is the most essential of virtues; without courage, the other virtues are useless. -- Edward Abbey
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If it's knowledge and wisdom you want, then seek out the company of those who do real work for an honest purpose. -- Edward Abbey
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Representative government has broken down. Our politicians represent not the people who vote for them but the commercial interests who finance their election campaigns. We have the best politicians that money can buy. -- Edward Abbey
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For chrissake folks what is this life if full of care we have no time to stand and stare? Take off your shoes for a while, unzip your fly, piss hearty, dig your toes in the hot sand, feel that raw and rugged earth, split a couple of big toenails, draw blood! Why not? -- Edward Abbey
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Suicide: Don't knock it if you ain't tried it. -- Edward Abbey
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There's nothing so obscene and depressing as an American Christmas. -- Edward Abbey
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I am an enemy of the State. But isn't everyone? -- Edward Abbey
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No tyranny is so irksome as petty tyranny: the officious demands of policemen, government clerks, and electromechanical gadgets. -- Edward Abbey
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If wilderness is outlawed, only outlaws can save wilderness. -- Edward Abbey
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A shelf of classics for our young adults: Tolkien, Hesse, Casteneda, Kerouac, Salinger, Tom Robbins, and _The Last Whole Earth Catalog_. -- Edward Abbey
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Three things my daddy tried to learn me. 'Son', he always said, 'remember these three precepts and you can't go wrong. One, never eat at a place called Mom's. Two, never play cards with a man named Doc.'
'That's only two.'
'I can never recollect the third, and that's what worries me. -- Edward Abbey
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Recorded history is largely an account of the crimes and disasters committed by banal little men at the levers of imperial machines. -- Edward Abbey
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When a man must be afraid to drink freely from his country's river and streams that country is no longer fit to live in. -- Edward Abbey
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Why administrators are respected and schoolteachers are not: An administrator is paid a lot for doing very little, while a teacher is paid very little for doing a lot. -- Edward Abbey
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Surely it is no accident that the most thorough of tyrannies appeared in Europe's most thoroughly scientific and industrialized nation. If we allow our own country to become as densely populated, overdeveloped and technically unified as modern Germany we may face a similar fate. -- Edward Abbey
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Money confers the power to command the labor of others. Love of money is love of power. And love of power is the root of evil. -- Edward Abbey
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Great art is indefinable but that's all right; it exists anyway. -- Edward Abbey
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Women who love only women may have a good point. -- Edward Abbey
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As Mark Twain said, 'I love Wagner
if only they'd cut out all that damned singing!' -- Edward Abbey
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Are people more important than the grizzly bear? Only from the point of view of some people. -- Edward Abbey
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I'm sure as hell not going to fight over her. I got more interesting things to do than that.
There's nothing more interesting than a woman, George. Not in this world. -- Edward Abbey
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Opera: I like it, except for all those howling sopranos and caterwauling tenors. (Why can't tenors sing like men?) -- Edward Abbey
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Wilderness, wilderness ... We scarcely know what we mean by the term, though the sound of it draws all whose nerves and emotions have not been irreparably stunned, deadened, numbed by the caterwauling of commerce, the sweating scramble for profit and domination. -- Edward Abbey
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Every writer has his favorite coterie of enemies: Mine is the East Coast literati
those prep school playmates and their Ivy League colleagues. -- Edward Abbey
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And the so-called 'political process' is a fraud: Our elected officials, like our bureaucratic functionaries, like even our judges, are largely the indentured servants of the commercial interests. -- Edward Abbey
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Man's deliberate destruction of his own habitat
planet Earth
could serve as a mighty theme for a mighty book worthy of a modern Melville or Tolstoy. But our best fictioneers confine themselves to domestic drama
soap opera with literary trimmings. -- Edward Abbey
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Homosexuality, like androgyny, might be an instinctive racial response to overpopulation, crowding, and stress. Both flourish when empire reaches its apogee. -- Edward Abbey
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Love implies anger. The man who is angered by nothing cares about nothing. -- Edward Abbey
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I'm tired of doing what I don't want to do to live the way I don't want to live. -- Edward Abbey
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How long does it take to write a good book? All of the years that you've lived. -- Edward Abbey
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A critic is to an author as a fungus to an oak. -- Edward Abbey
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In writing, fidelity to fact leads eventually to the poetry of truth. -- Edward Abbey
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There are only two living American authors fully deserving of the Nobel Prize. One is Lewis Mumford. The other is Wallace Stegner, whose novels and essays provide us a comprehensive portrait of industrial society in all its glittering corruption and radiant evil. -- Edward Abbey
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Tofu and futons. The adepts of Orientalism seem to spend most of their lives reclining. They can't quite summon the energy to crawl up onto a chair. Even their Yogic exercises are carried out in a prone or sitting position. -- Edward Abbey
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Of course I litter the public highway. Every chance I get. After all, it's not the beer cans that are ugly; it's the highway that is ugly. -- Edward Abbey
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Tee Vee football: one team wins, one team loses
they tie
who cares? And why? -- Edward Abbey
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To the intelligent man or woman, life appears infinitely mysterious. But the stupid have an answer for every question. -- Edward Abbey
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Poor Dimitri Shostakovich: In the Soviet Union, he was condemned as being too radical; in the West, for being too conservative. He could please no one but the musical public. He revenged himself on both by writing a short piece called 'March of the Soviet Police.' -- Edward Abbey
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This sweet virginal primitive land will metaphorically breathe a sigh of relief
like a whisper of wind
when we are all and finally gone and the place and its creations can return to their ancient procedures unobserved and undisturbed by the busy, anxious, brooding consciousness of man. -- Edward Abbey
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Belief in the supernatural reflects a failure of the imagination. -- Edward Abbey
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Wordless, it rises and falls in hemidemisemitones of unearthly misery. The dirge of the damned -- Edward Abbey
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No man is wise enough to be another man's master. Each man's as good as the next
if not a damn sight better. -- Edward Abbey
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An empty man is full of himself. -- Edward Abbey
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The critics say that Shostakovich's Fourth Symphony has no form. They are wrong; it has the form of Shostakovich's Fourth Symphony. -- Edward Abbey
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For women, the sexual act is a means to a higher end. For a man, it is an end in itself. -- Edward Abbey
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Too many American authors have a servile streak where their backbone should be. Where's our latest Nobel laureate? More than likely you'll find him in the Rose Garden kissing the First Lady's foot. -- Edward Abbey
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King Arthur and his armored goons of the Round Table functioned as the Politburo of a slave state: Camelot. Of all who have written on the Matter of Arthur, from Malory to White, only Mark Twain understood this. But Mark Twain was a great writer. -- Edward Abbey
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I am my brother's keeper, says the chickenshit liberal. Perhaps he does not
realize that he now has more than 2 1/2 billion brothers. -- Edward Abbey
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In the American Southwest, I began a lifelong love affair with a pile of rock. -- Edward Abbey
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Hard times are a-coming, and people without useful, practical skills are going to suffer. Or suffer most. -- Edward Abbey
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All power rests on hierarchy: An army is nothing but a well-organized lynch mob. -- Edward Abbey
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Each thing in its way, when true to its own character, is equally beautiful. (p 41) -- Edward Abbey
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Orthodoxy is a relaxation of the mind accompanied by a stiffening of the heart. -- Edward Abbey
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Music begins where words leave off. Music expresses the inexpressible. If there is a Kingdom of Heaven, it lies in music. -- Edward Abbey
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The best thing about graduating from the university was that I finally had time to sit on a log and read a good book. -- Edward Abbey
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Wilderness is not a luxury but a necessity of the human spirit, and as vital to our lives as water and good bread. A civilization which destroys what little remains of the wild, the spare, the original, is cutting itself off from its origins and betraying the principle of civilization itself. -- Edward Abbey
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The death penalty would be even more effective, as a deterrent, if we executed a few innocent people more often. -- Edward Abbey
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Motherhood is an essential, difficult, and full-time job. Women who do not wish to be mothers should not have babies. -- Edward Abbey
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War? The one war I'd be happy to join is the war against officers. -- Edward Abbey
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I find more and more, as I grow older, that I prefer women to men, children to adults, animals to humans ... And rocks to living things? No, I'm not that old yet. -- Edward Abbey
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And the wind blows, the dust clouds darken the desert blue, pale sand and red dust drift across the asphalt trails and tumbleweeds fill the arroyos. Good-bye, come again. (p. 34) -- Edward Abbey
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A man without a horse is like a man without a weapon: stunted and naked. -- Edward Abbey
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The black rock was sharp-edged, hot, and hard as corundum; it seemed not merely alien but impervious to life. Yet on the southern face of almost every rock the lichens grew, yellow, rusty-brown, yellow-green, like patches of dirty paint daubed on the stone. -- Edward Abbey
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The city, which should be the symbol and center of civilization, can also be made to function as a concentration camp. This is one of the significant discoveries of contemporary political science. -- Edward Abbey
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My friends and I live in the American SW because we love it, and love it for its own sake - not merely because it's the last region of the forty-eight states to be buried under asphalt and greed. -- Edward Abbey
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Baseball serves as a good model for democracy in action: Every player is equally important and each has a chance to be a hero. -- Edward Abbey
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I've wrecked and ravaged half my life in the pursuit of women, and I suffer the pangs of about seventeen regrets
the seventeen who got away. -- Edward Abbey
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Proverbs save us the trouble of thinking. What we call folk wisdom is often no more than a kind of expedient stupidity. -- Edward Abbey
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Of all the featherless beasts, only man, chained by his self-imposed slavery to the clock, denies the elemental fire and proceeds as best he can about his business, suffering quietly, martyr to his madness. Much to learn. -- Edward Abbey
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Whatever we cannot understand easily we call God; this saves wear and tear on the brain tissues. -- Edward Abbey
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There are no vacant lots in nature. -- Edward Abbey
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They listened for a while to the perfect music of the wind and rain and night. To the fire and the simmering kettle. -- Edward Abbey
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A city man is a home anywhere, for all big cities are much alike. But a country man has a place where he belongs, where he always returns, and where, when the time comes, he is willing to die. -- Edward Abbey
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These various interests are well organized, command more wealth than most modern nations, and are represented in Congress with a strength far greater than is justified in any constitutional or democratic sense. (Modern politics is expensive - power follows money.) -- Edward Abbey
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A good writer must have more than vin rose in his veins, use more than Chablis for ink. -- Edward Abbey
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Put the park rangers to work. Lazy scheming loafers, they've wasted too many years selling tickets at toll booths and sitting behind desks filling out charts and tables -- Edward Abbey
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People who think that love, sex, marriage, work, play, life and death are serious matters are urged NOT to read this book. Buy it, yes, but don't read it. [Regarding "The Fool's Progress"] -- Edward Abbey
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Truth is merely common sense, say the naive realist. Really? Then where,
precisely, is the location of
a rainbow? In the air? In the eye? In
between? Or somewhere else? -- Edward Abbey
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How to Avoid Pleurisy: Never make love to a girl named Candy on the tailgate of a half-ton Ford pickup during a chill rain in April out on Grandview Point in San Juan County, Utah. -- Edward Abbey
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My cousin Elroy spent seven years as an IBM taper staring at THINK signs on the walls before he finally got a good idea: He quit. -- Edward Abbey
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When a writer has done the best that he can do, he should then withdraw from the book-writing business and take up an honest trade like shoe repair, cattle stealing, or screwworm management. -- Edward Abbey
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One of the pleasant things about small town life is that everyone, whether rich or poor, liked or disliked, has some kind of a role and place in the community. I never felt that living in a city
as I once did for a couple of years. -- Edward Abbey
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Anarchism? You bet your sweet betsy. The only cure for the ills of democracy is more democracy. Much more. -- Edward Abbey
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Why do I write? I write to entertain my friends and to exasperate our enemies. To unfold the folded lie, to record to truth of our time, and, of course, to promote esthetic bliss. -- Edward Abbey
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Let our people travel light and free on their bicycles - nothing on the back but a shirt, nothing tied to the bike but a slicker, in case of rain. Their -- Edward Abbey
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The artist in our time has two chief responsibilities: (1) art; and (2) sedition. -- Edward Abbey
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We live in a time of twin credulities: the hunger for the miraculous combined with a servile awe of science. The mating of the two gives us superstition plus scientism
a Mongoloid metaphysic. -- Edward Abbey
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I'm not sure that I care for the idea of strangers examining my daily habits and folkways, studying my language, inspecting my costume, questioning me about my religion, classifying my artifacts, investigating my sexual rites and evaluating my chances for cultural survival. So I lived alone. -- Edward Abbey
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In this respect the differences between the USA and the USSR are those of evangelical dinosaurs competing for domination on one small planet: the first deifies Jesus Christ, the other Karl Marx. Neither has much practical interest in what those two sincere and hard-working fellows actually preached. -- Edward Abbey
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In the afternoon I watch the clouds drift past the bald peak of Mount Tukuhnikivats. (Someone has to do it.) -- Edward Abbey
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My notion of a great novel is something like a five-hundred-page shaggy-dog story, with only the punch line omitted. -- Edward Abbey
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The shock of the real. -- Edward Abbey
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What's the difference between the Lone Ranger and God? There really is a Lone Ranger. -- Edward Abbey
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But love of the wilderness is more than a hunger for what is always beyond reach; it is also an expression of loyalty to the earth which bore us and sustains us, the only home we shall ever know, the only paradise we ever need - if only we had eyes to see. -- Edward Abbey
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Vonnegut is one of America's basic artists, a true and worthy heir to the grand tradition of Thoreau, Whitman, Twain, Dreiser, Traven, Tom Wolfe (the real Tom Wolfe, I mean) and Steinbeck. In other words, he writes out of a concern for justice, love, honesty, and hope. -- Edward Abbey
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Only a fool is astonished by the foolishness of mankind. -- Edward Abbey
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Christian theology: nothing so grotesque could possibly be true. -- Edward Abbey
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Our suicidal poets (Plath, Berryman, Lowell, Jarrell, et al.) spent too much of their lives inside rooms and classrooms when they should have been trudging up mountains, slogging through swamps, rowing down rivers. The indoor life is the next best thing to premature burial. -- Edward Abbey
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I think it is far more important to save one square mile of wilderness, anywhere, by any means, than to produce another book on the subject. -- Edward Abbey
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Vaughan Telecom installers and contractors ensure the highest quality service for data and network cabling in Toronto and GTA area. -- Edward Abbey
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Quantum mechanics provides us with an approximate, plausible, conjectural explanation of what actually is, or was, or may be taking place inside a cyclotron during a dark night in February. -- Edward Abbey
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I believe that the military-industrial state will eventually collapse, possibly even in our lifetime, and that a majority of us (if prepared) will muddle through to a freer, more open, less crowded, green and spacious agrarian society. (Maybe; of course it may be only a repeat of the middle ages.) -- Edward Abbey
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Science transcends mere politics. As recent history demonstrates, scientists are as willing to work for a Tojo, a Hitler, or a Stalin as for the free nations of the West. -- Edward Abbey
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There is this to be said for walking: it is the one method of human locomotion by which a man or woman proceeds erect, upright, proud and independent, not squatting on the haunches like a frog.
Little boys love machines. Grown-up mean and women like to walk. -- Edward Abbey
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The world is older and bigger than we are. This is a hard truth for some folks to swallow. -- Edward Abbey
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Man is a gregarious creature, we are told, a social being. Does that mean he is also a herd animal? ... Are men no better than sheep or cattle, that they must live always in view of one another in order to feel a sense of safety? I can't believe it! -- Edward Abbey
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The plow of mortality drives through the stubble, turns over rocks and sod and weeds to cover the old, the worn-out, the husks, shells, empty seedpods and sapless roots, clearing the field for the next crop. A ruthless, brutal process - but clean and beautiful. -- Edward Abbey
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A society that feels itself too poor to afford the preservation of wilderness is not worthy of the name civilization. -- Edward Abbey
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Home is where, when you have to go there, you probably shouldn't. -- Edward Abbey
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Alaska's chief attractions are: (a) its small and insignificant human population, thanks to the miserable climate; and (b) its large and magnificent wildlife population, thanks to (a). Both of these attractions are being rapidly diminished, however, by (c) the Law of Growth and Space-Age Sleaze. -- Edward Abbey
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Only the half-mad are wholly alive. -- Edward Abbey
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We are kindred all of us, killer and victim, predator and prey, me and the sly coyote, the soaring buzzard, the elegant gopher snake, and trembling cottontail, the foul worms that feed on our entrails; all of them, all of us. Long live diversity, long live the earth! -- Edward Abbey
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Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell. -- Edward Abbey
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Capitalism: Nothing so mean could be right. Greed is the ugliest of the capital sins. -- Edward Abbey
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I am convinced now that the desert has no heart, that it presents a riddle which has no answer, and that the riddle itself is an illusion created by some limitation or exaggeration of the displaced human consciousness. -- Edward Abbey
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The greater your dreams, the more terrible your nightmares. -- Edward Abbey
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Henry James was our master of periphrasis
the fine art of saying as little as possible in the greatest number of words. -- Edward Abbey
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Except for the scale of the operation, there was nothing unusual about Hitler's massacre of the Jews. Genocide's an old tradition, as human as mother love or cherry pie. -- Edward Abbey
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By the age of forty, a man is responsible for his face. And his fate. -- Edward Abbey
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In social institutions, the whole is always less than the sum of its parts. There will never be a state as good as its people, or a church worthy of its congregation, or a university equal to its faculty and students. -- Edward Abbey
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And if the computer gives you any back talk, pour some well-sugared office coffee into its evil little silicon brain. -- Edward Abbey
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Climbing K2 or floating the Grand Canyon in an inner tube; there are some things one would rather have done than do. -- Edward Abbey
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Cold morning on Aztec Peak Fire Lookout. First, build fire in old stove. Second, start coffee. Then, heat up last night's pork chops and spinach for breakfast. Why not? And why the hell not? -- Edward Abbey
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The industrial way of life leads to the industrial way of death. From Shiloh to Dachau, from Antietam to Stalingrad, from Hiroshima to Vietnam and Afghanistan, the great specialty of industry and technology has been the mass production of human corpses. -- Edward Abbey
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Dr. Sarvis with his bald mottled dome and savage visage, grim and noble as Sibelius, was out night-riding on a routine neighborhood beautification project, burning billboards along the highway - U.S. 66, -- Edward Abbey
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Civilization is a youth with a molotov cocktail in his hand. Culture is the Soviet tank or L.A. cop that guns him down. -- Edward Abbey
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In marriage, the occasional catastrophic crisis is easier to manage than the daily routine. -- Edward Abbey
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What is the essence of the art of writing? Part One: Have something to say. Part Two: Say it well. -- Edward Abbey
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Society is like a stew. If you don't stir it up every once in a while then a layer of scum floats to the top. -- Edward Abbey
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Through logic and inference we can prove anything. Therefore, logic and inference, in contrast to ordinary daily living experience, are secondary instruments of knowledge. Probably tertiary. -- Edward Abbey
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Whenever I read _Time_ or _Newsweek_ or such magazines, I wash my hands afterward. But how to wash off the small but odious stain such reading leaves on the mind? -- Edward Abbey
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Preacher to me: 'A dollar for the Lord, brother?' Me to preacher: 'That's all right, I'm headed his way. I'll give it to him when I see him.' -- Edward Abbey
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I wait. Now the night flows back, the mighty stillness embraces and includes me; I can see the stars again and the world of starlight. I am twenty miles or more from the nearest fellow human, but instead of loneliness I feel loveliness. Loveliness and a quiet exultation. -- Edward Abbey
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I am happy to be a regional writer. My region is the American West, old Mexico, West Virginia, New York, Europe, Australia, the human heart, and the male groin. -- Edward Abbey
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Power is always dangerous. Power attracts the worst and corrupts the best. -- Edward Abbey
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The desert wears ... a veil of mystery. Motionless and silent it evokes in us an elusive hint of something unknown, unknowable, about to be revealed. Since the desert does not act it seems to be waiting
but waiting for what? -- Edward Abbey
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When riding my old Harley a ninety per at midnight down the Via Roma in Naples, I kept one consolation firmly in mind: If anything goes wrong, I'll never have time to regret it. -- Edward Abbey
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What is reason? Knowledge informed by sympathy, intelligence in the arms of
love. -- Edward Abbey
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Alaska is our biggest, buggiest, boggiest state. Texas remains our largest unfrozen state. But mountainous Utah, if ironed out flat, would take up more space on a map than either. -- Edward Abbey
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I am delighted, one more time, by the daring of my species and the audacity of our flying machines. There is poetry and music in our technology, a beauty as touching as that of eagle, moss campion, raven or yonder limestone boulder shining under the Arctic sun. -- Edward Abbey
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How to Overthrow the System: brew your own beer; kick in your Tee Vee; kill your own beef; build your own cabin and piss off the front porch whenever you bloody well feel like it. -- Edward Abbey
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We're all undesirable elements from somebody's point of view. -- Edward Abbey
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For this world that men have made, none of us is bad enough. For the world that made us, none is good enough. -- Edward Abbey
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Anyone not paranoid in this world must be crazy ... Speaking of paranoia, it's true that I do not know exactly who my enemies are. But that of course is exactly why I'm paranoid. -- Edward Abbey
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Writers should avoid the academy. When a writer begins to accept pay for talking about words, we know what he will produce soon: nothing but words. -- Edward Abbey
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Saving the world was merely a hobby. My *vocation* has been that of
inspector of desert water holes. -- Edward Abbey
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If you feel that you're not ready to die, never fear; nature will give you complete and adequate assistance when the time comes. -- Edward Abbey
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The love of a man for his wife, his child, of the land where he lives and works, is for me the real meaning of mystical experience. -- Edward Abbey
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Why must love always be accompanied
sooner or later
by sorrow and pain? Why not? Because pure bliss is for pure idiots. -- Edward Abbey
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I wouldn't trade a good horse for the best Rolls-Royce ever made
unless I could trade the Rolls for two good horses. -- Edward Abbey
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I would not sacrifice a single living mesquite tree for any book ever written. One square mile of living desert is worth a hundred 'great books' - and one brave deed is worth a thousand. -- Edward Abbey
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A true libertarian supports free enterprise, opposes big business; supports local self-government, opposes the nation-state; supports the National Rifle Association, opposes the Pentagon. -- Edward Abbey
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New Yorkers like to boast that if you can survive in New York, you can survive anywhere. But if you can survive anywhere, why live in New York? -- Edward Abbey
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If the end does not justify the means - what can? -- Edward Abbey
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A cowboy is a hired hand on the middle of a horse contemplating the hind end of a cow. -- Edward Abbey
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Counterpart to the knee-jerk liberal is the new knee-pad conservative, always groveling before the rich and the powerful. -- Edward Abbey
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If America could be, once again, a nation of self-reliant farmers, craftsmen, hunters, ranchers, and artists, then the rich would have little power to dominate others. Neither to serve nor to rule: That was the American dream. -- Edward Abbey
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One word is worth a thousand pictures. If it's the right word. -- Edward Abbey
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The sexual revolution transformed the American West: Now even cowboys can get laid. -- Edward Abbey
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In both metaphysics and art, honesty is the best policy. Keep it clean. -- Edward Abbey
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A house built on greed cannot long endure. -- Edward Abbey
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All things are in motion, all is in process, nothing abides, nothing will ever change in this eternal moment. -- Edward Abbey
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One thing worse than self-hatred is chiggers. -- Edward Abbey
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I want to be able to look at and into a juniper tree, a piece of quartz, a vulture, a spider, and see it as it is in itself, devoid of all humanly ascribed qualities, anti-Kantian, even the categories of scientific description. -- Edward Abbey
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In the dog-eat-dog economy, the Doberman is boss. -- Edward Abbey
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Keep the tourists out, some tourist from Salt Lake City has written. As fellow tourists we heartily agree. -- Edward Abbey
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The world is full of burled and gnarly knobs on which you can hang a metaphysical system. If you must. -- Edward Abbey
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In all of nature, there is no sound more pleasing than that of a hungry animal at its feed. Unless you are the food. -- Edward Abbey
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As a confirmed melancholic, I can testify that the best and maybe only antidote for melancholia is action. However, like most melancholics, I suffer also from sloth. -- Edward Abbey
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One can imagine a sane, healthy, cheerful human society based on no more than the principles of common sense, as validated each day by work, play, and living experience. But this remains the most utopian and fantastic of ideals. -- Edward Abbey
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Every man has two vocations: his own and philosophy. -- Edward Abbey
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All governments need enemies. How else to justify their existence? -- Edward Abbey
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It is not the writer's task to answer questions but to question answers. To be impertinent, insolent, and, if necessary, subversive. -- Edward Abbey
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There has never been a day in my life when I was not in love. -- Edward Abbey
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Beware of the man who has no enemies. -- Edward Abbey
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One thing more dangerous than getting between a grizzly sow and her cub is getting between a businessman and a dollar bill. -- Edward Abbey
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Wilderness and motors are incompatible and the former can best be experienced, understood and enjoyed when the machines are left behind where they belong
on the superhighways and in the parking lots, on the reservoirs and in the marinas. -- Edward Abbey
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Civilization flows; culture thickens and coagulates, like tired, sick, stifled blood. -- Edward Abbey
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Trout fishing. One must be a stickler for proper form. Use nothing but #4 blasting caps, or a hand grenade, if handy, or at a pool well-lined with stone, one blast from a .44 magnum will bring a few stunned brookies quietly to the surface. -- Edward Abbey
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War: First day in the U.S. Army, the government placed a Bible in my left hand, a bayonet in the other. -- Edward Abbey
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From the point of view of political geography we are standing on one of the frontiers of human culture; for the man inside the rubber sack it was land's end, the shore of the world. -- Edward Abbey
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Do not burn yourselves out. Be as I am-a reluctant enthusiast ... a part-time crusader, a half-hearted fanatic. Save the other half of yourselves and your lives for pleasure and adventure. -- Edward Abbey
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Balance, that's the secret. Moderate extremism. The best of both worlds. -- Edward Abbey
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Girls: I never wanted them all. Just all the ones I wanted. -- Edward Abbey
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[I]t is the writer's duty to write fiction which promotes virtue, the good, the beautiful, and above all, the true ... It is the writer's duty to hate injustice, to defy the powerful, and to speak for the voiceless. To be ... the severest critics of our own societies. -- Edward Abbey
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There are two kinds of people I cannot abide: bigots and any well-organized ethnic group. -- Edward Abbey
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Reason is and ought to be, as Hume said, the slave of the passions. -- Edward Abbey
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The knowledge that refuge is available, when and if needed, makes the silent inferno of the desert more easily bearable. Mountains complement desert as desert complements city, as wilderness complements and completes civilization. -- Edward Abbey
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A mother's sorrow is more true, honorable, and beautiful than the detachment of the sage. -- Edward Abbey
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The artist's job? To be a miracle worker: make the blind see, the dull feel, the dead to live ... -- Edward Abbey
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The more fantastic an ideology or theology, the more fanatic its adherents. -- Edward Abbey
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The most striking thing about the rich is the gracious democracy of their manners
and the crude vulgarity of their way of life. -- Edward Abbey
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Girls, like flowers, bloom but once. But once is enough. -- Edward Abbey
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Cowboys make better lovers: Ask any cow. -- Edward Abbey
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What good is a Bill of Rights that does not include the right to play, to wander, to explore, the right to stillness and solitude, to discovery and physical freedom? -- Edward Abbey
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I once sat on the rim of a mesa above the Rio Grande for three days and nights, trying to have a vision. I got hungry and saw God in the form of a beef pie. -- Edward Abbey
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Lake Powell: storage pond, silt trap, evaporation tank and garbage dispose-all, a 180-mile-long incipient sewage lagoon. -- Edward Abbey
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Reason has seldom failed us because it has seldom been tried. -- Edward Abbey
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Nobody seems more obsessed by diet than our antimaterialist, otherworldly, New Age, spiritual types. But if the material world is merely illusion, an honest guru should as content with Budweiser and bratwurst as with raw carrot juice, tofu, and seaweed slime. -- Edward Abbey
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Say what you like about my bloody murderous government,' I says, 'but don't insult me poor bleedin' country. -- Edward Abbey
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Most of what we call the classics of world literature suggest artifacts in a wax museum. We have to hire and pay professors to get them read and talked about. -- Edward Abbey
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Is the Archbishop's blessing any more meaningful than the Politician's handshake? The come, they go, with bigger things than us on their minds. -- Edward Abbey
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I hold no preference among flowers, so long as they are wild, free, spontaneous. -- Edward Abbey
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The city itself swung slowly toward us silent as a dream. No sign of life but puffs of steam from skyscraper chimneys, the motion of the traffic. The mighty towers stood like tombstones in a graveyard, leaning against the sky and waiting for
for what? Someday we'll know. -- Edward Abbey
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Men love their ideas more than their lives. And the more preposterous the idea, the more eager they are to die for it. And to kill for it. -- Edward Abbey
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Simplicity is always a virtue. One kid on a riverbank working out a Stephen Foster tune on his new harmonica heard from the correct esthetic distance projects more magic and power than the entire Vienna Philharmonic and Chorus laboring (once again) through the Mozart Requiem or Bach's B Minor Mass. -- Edward Abbey
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We are preoccupied with time. If we could learn to love space as deeply as we are now obsessed with time, we might discover a new meaning in the phrase 'to live like men. -- Edward Abbey
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I would like to evoke the sense of wonder and magic in the reader but without invoking the mystical, the supernatural or the transcendent. -- Edward Abbey
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I've got a crooked elbow and I generally say my prayers with one leg on a brass rail. -- Edward Abbey
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The automobile, which began as a transportation convenience, has become a bloody tyrant (50,000 lives a year), and it is the responsibility of the park service, as well as that of everyone else concerned with preserving both wilderness and civilization, to begin a campaign of resistance. -- Edward Abbey
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Baseball is a slow, sluggish game, with frequent and trivial interruptions, offering the spectator many opportunities to reflect at leisure upon the situation on the field: This is what a fan loves most about the game -- Edward Abbey
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Shakespeare wrote great poetry and preposterous plays. Who really cares, for example, which petty tyrant rules Milan? Or who succeeds to the throne of Denmark? Or why the barons ganged up on Richard II? -- Edward Abbey
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If you hope for any sort of dialogue and unity with all factions on the vaguely leftist or radical side of politics, you must cease from silly verbal abuse. If you don't want it, then we go on as we are, fractious and impotent. -- Edward Abbey
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A crude meal, no doubt, but the best of all sauces is hunger. -- Edward Abbey
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No man-made structure in all of American history has been hated so much, by so many, for so long, with such good reason, as that Glen Canyon Dam at Page, Arizona, Shithead Capital of Coconino County. -- Edward Abbey
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If my decomposing carcass helps nourish the roots of a juniper tree or the wings of a vulture - that is immortality enough for me. And as much as anyone deserves. -- Edward Abbey
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Humankind will not be free until the last Kremlin commissar is strangled with the entrails of the last Pentagon chief of staff. -- Edward Abbey
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How did Haydn and Mozart produce such vast quantities of formally perfect art? They worked from a perfect formula. In music, Beethoven was the Great Emancipator. -- Edward Abbey
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But it is a writer's duty to write and speak and record the truth, always the truth, no matter whom may be offended. -- Edward Abbey
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I think the evil is in the food, in the noise, in the crowding, in the stress, in the water, in the air. -- Edward Abbey
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The one thing ... that is truly ugly is the climate of hate and intimidation, created by a noisy few, which makes the decent majority reluctant to air in public their views on anything controversial ... Where all pretend to be thinking alike, it's likely that no one is thinking at all. -- Edward Abbey
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So I write mainly for the fun of it, the hell of it, the duty of it. I enjoy writing and will probly be a scribbler on my dying day, sprawled on some stony trail halfway between two dry waterholes. -- Edward Abbey
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To be alive is to take risks; to be always safe and secure is death. -- Edward Abbey
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Abolition of a woman's right to abortion, when and if she wants it, amounts to compulsory maternity: a form of rape by the State. -- Edward Abbey
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A man without passion would be like a body without a soul. Or even more
grotesque, like a soul without a body. -- Edward Abbey
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My most memorable hikes can be classified as 'Shortcuts that Backfired'. -- Edward Abbey
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A woman, as much as a man, is responsible by the age of forty for the character of her face. But women, obeying the biological imperative, strive harder to preserve a youthful appearance (the reproductive look) and lose it sooner. -- Edward Abbey
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Jane Austen: Getting into her books is like getting in bed with a cadaver. Something vital is lacking; namely, life. -- Edward Abbey
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Appearance versus reality? Appearance is reality, God damn it! -- Edward Abbey
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The moral duty of the free writer is to begin his work at home: to be a critic of his own community, his own country, his own government, his own culture. The more freedom the writer possesses, the greater the moral obligation to play the role of critic. -- Edward Abbey
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It is not enough to understand the natural world; the point is to defend and
preserve it. -- Edward Abbey
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Women truly are better than men. Otherwise, they'd be intolerable. -- Edward Abbey
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A world without open country would be universal jail. -- Edward Abbey
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No man likes to be smoked out of his hole in February. -- Edward Abbey
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It is vital that we avoid any hint of moral superiority in our dealings with one another in the environmental movement; if it developed into factionalism it would destroy us, as factionalism has destroyed so many other progressive movements in America. -- Edward Abbey
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Whenever I see a photograph of some sportsman grinning over his kill, I am always impressed by the striking moral and esthetic superiority of the dead animal to the live one. -- Edward Abbey
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Desire, said the Buddha, is the cause of suffering. But without desire, what delight? -- Edward Abbey
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How could anything non-controversial be of intellectual interest to grown-ups? -- Edward Abbey
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Women: We cannot love them all. But we must try. -- Edward Abbey
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There is a certain animal vitality in most of us which carries us through any trouble but the absolutely overwhelming. Only a fool has no sorrow, only an idiot has no grief - but then only a fool and an idiot will let grief and sorrow ride him down into the grave. -- Edward Abbey
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If you wish to see it as it should be seen, don't wait - there's little time. How do you get there? Well, I couldn't tell you. -- Edward Abbey
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When a man's best friend is his dog, that dog has a problem. -- Edward Abbey
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The national parks belong to everyone. To the people. To all of us. The government keeps saying so and maybe, in this one case at least, the government is telling the truth. Hard to believe, but possible. -- Edward Abbey
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Longevity, like intelligence and good looks and health and strength of character, is largely a matter of genetic heritage. Choose your parents with care. -- Edward Abbey
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A patriot must always be ready to defend his country against his government. -- Edward Abbey
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Pure science is a myth: Both mathematical theoreticians like Albert Einstein and practical crackpots like Henry Ford dealt with different aspects of the same world. -- Edward Abbey
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All serious writers want the obvious rewards: fame, money, women, love
and most of all, an audience! -- Edward Abbey
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Taxation: how the sheep are shorn. -- Edward Abbey
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Life's a dog and then you die? No no. Life is a joyous dance through daffodils beneath cerulean blue skies and then, then what? I forget what happens next.
-A Fool's Progress -- Edward Abbey
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Good writing can be defined as having something to say and saying it well. When one has nothing to say, one should remain silent. Silence is always beautiful at such times. -- Edward Abbey
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The earth is real. Only a fool, milking his cow, denies the cow's reality. -- Edward Abbey
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I am not an atheist but an earthiest. Be true to the earth. -- Edward Abbey
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Proust again: One can only wish that a man with such powers of total recall had led a less tedious life, moved among somewhat livelier circles ... -- Edward Abbey
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In social affairs, I'm an optimist. I really do believe that our military- industrial civilization will soon collapse. -- Edward Abbey
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The hawk's cry is as sharp as its beak. -- Edward Abbey
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The dog's life is a good life, for a dog. -- Edward Abbey
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Mayonnaise, like hollandaise, was invented by the French to cover up the flavor of spoiled flesh, stale vegetables, rotten fish. Beware the sauce! Where food comes beslobbered with an elegant slime you may well suspect the integrity of the basic ingredients. -- Edward Abbey
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Thou fair-haired angel of the evening, Now, whilst the sun rests on the mountains, light Thy bright torch of love; thy radiant crown Put on, and smile upon our evening bed. Smile on our loves. ... -- Edward Abbey
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I choose to listen to the river for a while, thinking river thoughts, before joining the night and the stars. -- Edward Abbey
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Paradise is the here and now, the actual, tangible, dogmatically real Earth on which we stand. Yes, God bless America, the Earth upon which we stand. -- Edward Abbey
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Wherever two human beings are alive, together, and happy, there is the center of the world. -- Edward Abbey
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Anton Bruckner wrote the same symphony nine times, trying to get it just right. He failed. -- Edward Abbey
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Be loyal to what you love, be true to the earth, fight your enemies with passion and laughter. -- Edward Abbey
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The longest journey begins with a single step, not with a turn of the ignition key. -- Edward Abbey
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An economic system which can only expand or expire must be false to all that is human. -- Edward Abbey
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Beware of your wishes: They will probably come true. -- Edward Abbey
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Literary critics, like a herd of cows or a school of fish, always face in the same direction, obeying that love for unity that every critic requires. -- Edward Abbey
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It is not death or dying that is tragic, but rather to have existed without fully participating in life- that is the deepest personal tragedy. -- Edward Abbey
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Walking is the only form of transportation in which a man proceeds erect - like a man - on his own legs, under his own power. There is immense satisfaction in that. -- Edward Abbey
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Yes sir, yes madam, I entreat you, get out of those motorized wheelchairs, get off your foam rubber backsides, stand up straight like men! like women! like human beings! and walk-walk-WALK upon our sweet and blessed land! -- Edward Abbey
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The highest treason, the meanest treason, is to deny the holiness of this little blue planet on which we journey through the cold void of space. South -- Edward Abbey
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Little boys love machines; girls adore horses; grown-up men and women like to walk. -- Edward Abbey
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Among politicians and businessmen, *Pragmatism* is the current term for 'To hell with our children.' -- Edward Abbey
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But of the seven deadly sins, wrath is the healthiest - next only to lust. -- Edward Abbey
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May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view. -- Edward Abbey
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The world is what it is, no less and no more, and therein lies its entire and sufficient meaning. -- Edward Abbey
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I'd sooner exchange ideas with the birds on earth than learn to carry on intergalactic communications with some obscure race of humanoids on a satellite planet from the world of Betelgeuse. -- Edward Abbey
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The best people, like the best wines, come from the hills. -- Edward Abbey
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I am against all forms of government, including good government. -- Edward Abbey
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If there's anything I hate, it's the vibraphone. And the cha-cha-cha. And Latin rhythms generally. -- Edward Abbey
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Phoenix, Arizona: an oasis of ugliness in the midst of a beautiful wasteland. -- Edward Abbey
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Literature, like anything else, can become a wearisome business if you make a lifetime specialty of it. A healthy, wholesome man would no more spend his entire life reading great books than he would packing cookies for Nabisco. -- Edward Abbey
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It is not an easy thing to inflate a dog. -- Edward Abbey
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To die alone, on rock under sun at the brink of the unknown, like a wolf, like a great bird, seems to me very good fortune indeed. -- Edward Abbey
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In a nation of sheep, one brave man forms a majority. -- Edward Abbey
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The industrial corporation is the natural enemy of nature. -- Edward Abbey
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The great question of life is not the question of death but the question of life. Fear of death shames us all. -- Edward Abbey
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Wealth should come like manna from heaven, unearned and uncalled for. Money should be like grace
a gift. It is not worth sweating and scheming for. -- Edward Abbey
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In the modern world, all literary art is necessarily political
especially that which pretends not to be. -- Edward Abbey
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Though I've lived in the rural West most of my life, I never once fell in love with a horse. Not once. Neither end. -- Edward Abbey
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There is beauty, heartbreaking beauty, everywhere. -- Edward Abbey
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It's a fool's life, a rogue's life, and a good life if you keep laughing all the way to the grave. -- Edward Abbey
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If, as some say, evil lies in the hearts and not the institutions of men, then there's hardly a distinction worth making between, say, Hitler's Germany and Rebecca's Sunnybrook Farm. -- Edward Abbey
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The gross evil of our time defies all labels. -- Edward Abbey
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A life without tragedy would not be worth living. We -- Edward Abbey
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Yes, I know, if the American Indians had enforced such a policy none of us pale-faced honkies would be here. But the Indians were foolish, and divided, and failed to keep our WASP ancestors out. They've regretted it ever since. -- Edward Abbey
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Why do I live in the desert? Because the desert is the *locus Dei*. -- Edward Abbey
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Gaze not too long into the abyss, lest the abyss gaze into thee. -- Edward Abbey
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Any hack can safely rail away at foreign powers beyond the sea; but a good writer is a critic of the society he lives in. -- Edward Abbey
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I do not believe in personal immortality; it seems so unnecessary. Show me one man who deserves to live forever. -- Edward Abbey
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Those who have no sense of posterity or any concern for future generations are the ones who are really dead. I mean, they are dead right now. Walking zombies. -- Edward Abbey
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Most every charge you level at American capitalism applies with equal force to communism, with this nice difference, that the Reds make no pretense at such frivolities as civil liberties or environmentalism. The differences in degree are so great that they result in a radical difference in kind. -- Edward Abbey
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Roosters: The cry of the male chicken is the most barbaric yawp in all of nature. -- Edward Abbey
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Generally speaking, it's a matter of only mild intellectual interest to me whether the earth goes around the sun or the sun goes around the earth. In fact, I don't care a rat's ass either way. -- Edward Abbey
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All dams are ugly, but the Glen Canyon Dam is sinful ugly. -- Edward Abbey
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The sense of justice springs from self-respect; both are coeval with our
birth. Children are born with an innate sense of justice; it usually takes
twelve years of public schooling and four more years of college to beat it
out of them. -- Edward Abbey
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Has joy any survival value in the operations of evolution? I suspect that it does; I suspect that the morose and fearful are doomed to quick extinction. Where there is no joy there can be no courage; and without courage all other virtues are useless. -- Edward Abbey
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When the philosopher's argument becomes tedious, complicated, and opaque, it is usually a sign that he is attempting to prove as true to the intellect what is plainly false to common sense. -- Edward Abbey
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High technology has done us one great service: It has retaught us the delight of performing simple and primordial tasks - chopping wood, building a fire, drawing water from a spring -- Edward Abbey
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A good book is a kind of paper club, serving to rouse the slumbrous and to silence the obtuse. -- Edward Abbey
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Humility is a virtue when you have no other. -- Edward Abbey
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Whatever the cost, however financed, the benefits for park visitors in health and happiness
virtues unknown to statisticians
would be immeasurable. -- Edward Abbey
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Some people write to please, to soothe, to console. Others to provoke, to challenge, to exasperate and infuriate. I've always found the second approach the more pleasing. -- Edward Abbey
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There is a wine called Easy Days and Mellow Nights, well-known on the outskirts of the Navajo reservation. It is an economical wine, fortified with the best of intentions, and I recommend it to every serious wino. -- Edward Abbey
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The night I filled an inside straight: Even a blind hog's gonna root up an acorn once in a while. -- Edward Abbey
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The New Age orgy: The flesh was willing but the spirit's weak. -- Edward Abbey
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Though men now possess the power to dominate and exploit every corner of the natural world, nothing in that fact implies that they have the right or the need to do so. -- Edward Abbey
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Capitalism sounds good in theory but it just doesn't work. -- Edward Abbey
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Rocks, like louseworts and snail darters and pupfish and 3rd-world black, lesbian, militant poets, have rights, too. Especially the right to exist. -- Edward Abbey
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Indolence and melancholy: Each generates the other. If one can speak of such feeble passions as generating anything. -- Edward Abbey
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There comes a time in the life of us all when we must lay aside our books or put down our tools and leave our place of work and walk forth on the road to meet the enemy face-to-face. Once and for all and at last -- Edward Abbey
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Congress is always willing to appropriate money for more and bigger paved roads, anywhere
particularly if they form loops. -- Edward Abbey
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Nature is indifferent to our love, but never unfaithful. -- Edward Abbey
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Hayduke smelled something foul in all this. A smoldering bitterness warmed his heart and nerves; the slow fires of anger kept his cockles warm, his hackles rising. Hayduke burned. And he was not a patient man. -- Edward Abbey
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There is a kind of poetry in simple fact. -- Edward Abbey
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We are caught," continued the good doctor, "in the iron treads of a technological juggernaut. A mindless machine. With a breeder reactor for a heart. -- Edward Abbey
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Man was created to complete the horse. -- Edward Abbey
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There is a deep, abiding, unshakable satisfaction in a life of complete failure. -- Edward Abbey
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Nothing could be older than the daily news, nothing deader than yesterday's newspaper. -- Edward Abbey
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Some of my ancestors fought in the American Revolution. A few more wore red coats, a few wore blue coats, and the rest wore no coats at all. We never did figure out who won that war. -- Edward Abbey
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Everyone should learn a manual trade: It's never too late to become an honest person. -- Edward Abbey
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A rancher is a farmer who farms the public lands with a herd of four-legged lawn mowers. -- Edward Abbey
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Reply to Plato: I seen horses I seen cows I haint never yet seen horsiness nor that there bovinity neither. -- Edward Abbey
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In that moment of truce, of utter surrender, when the rabbit still alive offers no resistance but only waits, is it possible that the rabbit also loves the owl? -- Edward Abbey
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Nature, like Miamonides said, is mainly a good place to throw beer cans on Sunday afternoons. -- Edward Abbey
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In order to write a book, it is necessary to sit down (or stand up) and write. Therein lies the difficulty. -- Edward Abbey
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We should restore the practice of dueling. It might improve manners around here. -- Edward Abbey
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The axiom of conditioned repetition, like the binomial theorem, is nothing but a piece of insolence. -- Edward Abbey
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God is a sound people make when they're too tired to think anymore. -- Edward Abbey
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Charity should be spontaneous. Calculated altruism is an affront. -- Edward Abbey
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You can never go wrong cuttin' fence,' repeated Smith, warming to his task. (Pling!) "Always cut fence. That's the law west of the 100th meridian. East of that don't matter none. Back there it's all lost anyhow. But west, we cut fence,' (Plang!) -- Edward Abbey
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Don't talk to me about other worlds, separate realities, lost continents or invisible realms
I know where I belong. Heaven is home. Utopia is here. Nirvana is now. -- Edward Abbey
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There never was a good war or a bad revolution. -- Edward Abbey
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Standing there, gaping at this monstrous and inhumane spectacle of rock and cloud and sky and space, I feel a ridiculous greed and possessiveness come over me. I want to know it all, posess it all, embrace the entire scene intimately, deeply, totally ... -- Edward Abbey
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Our big social institutions do not reflect human nature; they distort it. -- Edward Abbey
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Narrow-minded provincialism: Sad to say but true
I am more interested in the mountain lions of Utah, the wild pigs of Arizona, than I am in the fate of all the Arabs of Araby, all the Wogs of Hindustan, all the Ethiopes of Abyssinia ... -- Edward Abbey
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[R]eality and real people are too subtle and complicated for anybody's typewriter, even Tolstoy's, even yours, even mine. -- Edward Abbey
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It's all still there in heart and soul. The walk, the hills, the sky, the solitary pain and pleasure-they will grow larger, sweeter, lovelier in the days and years to come. -- Edward Abbey
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The response to my books from my East Coast friends has been wildly various, running the gamut from 'bad' to 'very bad.' (Is there another gamut?) -- Edward Abbey
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What most people really desire is something quite different from industrial gimmickry- liberty, spontaneity, nakedness, mystery, wildness, wilderness. -- Edward Abbey
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What our economists call a depressed area almost always turns out to be a cleaner, freer, more livable place than most. -- Edward Abbey
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Epitaphs for a gravestone: 'Please: no hooliganism'; or 'Es prohibe se hace agua aqui'; or 'No comment'. -- Edward Abbey
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The tank, the B-52, the fighter-bomber, the state-controlled police and military are the weapons of dictatorship. The rifle is the weapon of democracy. Not for nothing was the revolver called an equalizer. -- Edward Abbey
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Original sin, the true original sin, is the blind destruction for the sake of greed of this natural paradise which lies all around us-if only we were worthy of it. -- Edward Abbey
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From the point of view of a tapeworm, man was created by God to serve the appetite of the tapeworm. -- Edward Abbey
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The world of employer and employee, like that of master and slave, debases both. -- Edward Abbey
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The very poor are strictly materialistic. It takes money to be a mystic. -- Edward Abbey
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America My Country: last nation on earth to abolish human slavery; first of all nations to drop the nuclear bomb on our fellow human beings. -- Edward Abbey
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Mental degeneracy may be caused by lead poisoning. Or by a poor dip in the gene pool. -- Edward Abbey
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In history-as-politics, the 'future' is that vacuum in time waiting to be filled with the antics of statesmen. -- Edward Abbey
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My Aunt Ida at age eighty-three: 'Yeah,' she said, 'I'll be dead pretty soon. And frankly, I don't give a damn.' -- Edward Abbey
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The absurd vanity of metaphysicians who like to imagine that they create the world by thinking about it. -- Edward Abbey
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The Latino military fare badly when they stumble into war with the gringos. But in the torture, murder, and massacre of their own people, they have always performed with brilliance and elan. -- Edward Abbey
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Three words remain that can yet stir the blood of man: the word 'rebellion'; the word 'revolt'; the word 'revolution'. -- Edward Abbey
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Poetry
even bad poetry
may be our final hope. -- Edward Abbey
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Hierarchical institutions are like giant bulldozers
obedient to the whim of any fool who takes the controls. -- Edward Abbey
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I love America because it is a confused, chaotic mess - and I hope we can keep it this way for at least another thousand years. The permissive society is the free society. -- Edward Abbey
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Married couples who quarrel bitterly every day may really need each other as deeply as those who appear to be desperately in love. -- Edward Abbey
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A genius is always on duty; even his dreams are tax deductible. -- Edward Abbey
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Industrialism, whether of the capitalist or socialist coloration, is the
basic tyrant of the modern age. -- Edward Abbey
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The basic science is not physics or mathematics but biology
the study of life. We must learn to think both logically and bio-logically. -- Edward Abbey
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The earth, like the sun, like the air, belongs to everyone and to no one. -- Edward Abbey
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I'm a fastidious sort of fellow, fond of watermelon and buckbrush nuts. -- Edward Abbey
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In the end, for all our differences and conflicts, most women and men share the same food, work, shelter, bed, life, joy, anguish, and fate. We need each other. -- Edward Abbey
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One day in Dipstick, Nebraska, or Landfill, Oklahoma, is worth more to me than an eternity in Dante's plastic Paradiso, or Yeats's gold-plated Byzantium. -- Edward Abbey
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We judge individual man and women as we do nations and races
by the character of their achievement and by their achievement of character. -- Edward Abbey
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One single act of defiance against power, against the State that seems omnipotent but is not, transforms and transfigures the human personality. At least for a time. For a while. Perhaps that is enough. -- Edward Abbey
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By the age of eighteen, a human has acquired enough joy and heartache to provide the food of reflection for a century. -- Edward Abbey
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Paradise for a happy man lies in his own good nature. -- Edward Abbey
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What did Jesus say to the headwaiter at the Last Supper? 'Separate checks, please.' -- Edward Abbey
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How can I be so evil? It ain't easy. -- Edward Abbey
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Poor Hayduke: won all his arguments but lost his immortal soul. -- Edward Abbey
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Most of the literary classics are worth reading, if you've nothing better to do. -- Edward Abbey
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God bless America. Let's try to save some of it. -- Edward Abbey
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All we have, it seems to me, is the beauty of art and nature and life, and the love which that beauty inspires. -- Edward Abbey
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The only thing worse than a knee-jerk liberal is a knee- pad conservative ... -- Edward Abbey
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The gurus come from the sickliest nation on earth to tell us how to live. And we pay them for it. -- Edward Abbey
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Life is too tragic for sadness: Let us rejoice. -- Edward Abbey
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Who needs astrology? The wise man gets by on fortune cookies. -- Edward Abbey
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Those who dream of the joys of living in a space colony should live in a space colony. -- Edward Abbey
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Somewhere in the depths of solitude, beyond wilderness and freedom, lay the trap of madness. -- Edward Abbey
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If a man knew enough he could write a whole book about the juniper tree. Not juniper trees in general but that one particular juniper tree which grows from a ledge of naked sandstone near the old entrance to Arches National Monument. -- Edward Abbey
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It is an author's most solemn obligation to honor truth. If the free and independent writer does not speak truth to power, who will? -- Edward Abbey
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Our contemporary Tories prefer the term 'ordered liberty' to 'freedom'. The word 'freedom' scares them; it has too much of a paleolithic ring to it. -- Edward Abbey
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Space and scarcity give us dignity. And liberty. And thereby beauty. -- Edward Abbey
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It seems clear at last that our love for the natural world-Nature-is the only means by which we can requite God's obvious love for it. -- Edward Abbey
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Simply because humankind have the power now to meddle or 'manage' or 'exercise stewardship' in every nook and cranny of the world does not mean that we have a right to do so. Even less, the obligation. -- Edward Abbey
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The ever-rising cost of living: Someday soon, the corporate technicians will be locking meters on our noses and charging us a royalty on the air we breathe. -- Edward Abbey
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Grown men do not need leaders. -- Edward Abbey
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Why I oppose the nuclear-arms race: I prefer the human race. -- Edward Abbey
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If you feel that you must suffer, then plan your suffering carefully
as you choose your dreams, as you conceive your ancestors. -- Edward Abbey
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The best American writers have come from the hinterlands
Mark Twain, Theodore Dreiser, Jack London, Hemingway, Faulkner, Wolfe, Steinbeck. Most of them never even went to college. -- Edward Abbey
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Eyes blurred, she drove away. Alone, buzzing down the asphalt trail to Kayenta, heart beating, her pistons leaping madly up and down, Bonnie Abbzug relapsed into the sweet luxury of tears. Hard to see the road. She turned on the windshield wipers but that didn't help much. -- Edward Abbey
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I now find the most marvelous things in the everyday, the ordinary, the common, the simple and tangible. -- Edward Abbey
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This world may be only illusion
but it's the only illusion we've got. -- Edward Abbey
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Saving the world is only a hobby. Most of the time I do nothing. -- Edward Abbey
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We spend more time working for our labor-saving machines than they do working for us. -- Edward Abbey
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The more we learn of outer space and inner space, of quasars and quarks, of Big Bangs and Little Blips, the more remote, abstract and intellectually inconsequential it all becomes. -- Edward Abbey
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J. Edgar Hoover, J. Bracken Lee, J. Parnell Thomas, J. Paul Getty
you can always tell a shithead by that initial initial. -- Edward Abbey
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Music is a savage art, a measured madness. -- Edward Abbey
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I wish to be
an inspector of volcanoes.
I want to study cloud formations
and memorize the wind
and learn by heart the habits of
the ponderosa pine. -- Edward Abbey
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There is no trajectory so pathetic as that of an artist in decline. -- Edward Abbey
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A true conservative must necessarily be a conservationalist. -- Edward Abbey
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Metaphysics is a cobweb that the mind weaves around things. -- Edward Abbey
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Life without music would be an intolerable insult. -- Edward Abbey
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In America, as elsewhere, the general irritability level keeps rising. -- Edward Abbey
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The idea of wilderness needs no defense, it only needs defenders. -- Edward Abbey
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I believe in nothing that I cannot touch, kiss, embrace ... The rest is only hearsay. -- Edward Abbey
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I know my own nation best. That's why I despise it the most. And know and love my own people, too, the swine. I'm a patriot. A dangerous man. -- Edward Abbey
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It is the difference between men and women, not the sameness, that creates the tension and the delight. -- Edward Abbey
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Terrorism: deadly violence against humans and other living things, usually conducted by government against its own people. -- Edward Abbey
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Jesus don't walk on water no more; his feet leak. -- Edward Abbey
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The function of an ideal is not to be realized but, like that of the North
Star, to serve as a guiding point. -- Edward Abbey
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So I lived alone.
The first thing I did was take off my pants. Naturally. -- Edward Abbey
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A world without huge regions of total wilderness would be a cage; a world without lions and tigers and vultures and snakes and elk and bison would be - will be - a human zoo. A high-tech slum. -- Edward Abbey
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Going to bed with Gertrude Stein, Jeane Kirkpatrick, Susan Sontag, or Margaret Thatcher: There are some things one prefers neither to do nor to have done. -- Edward Abbey
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Life is too short for grief. Or regret. Or bullshit. I -- Edward Abbey
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When the writer has done his best, he then should proceed to do his second best. -- Edward Abbey
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If industrial man continues to multiply his numbers and expand his operations he will succeed in his apparent intention, to seal himself off from the natural and isolate himself within a synthetic prison of his own making. -- Edward Abbey
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My own ambition, my deepest and truest ambition, is to find within myself someday, somehow, the ability to do likewise, to do NOTHING - and find it enough. -- Edward Abbey
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Running the big rapids is like sex: half the fun lies in the anticipation. Two thirds of the thrill with the approach. The remainder is only ecstasy-or darkness. -- Edward Abbey
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I would never betray a friend to serve a cause. Never reject a friend to help an institution. Great nations may fall in ruin before I would sell a friend to save them. -- Edward Abbey
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God is love? Not bloody likely. -- Edward Abbey
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Beauty is only skin deep; ugliness goes all the way through. -- Edward Abbey
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Susan Sontag: What she really wanted, throughout her career, was to grow up to be a Frenchman. -- Edward Abbey
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Life is cruel? Compared to what? -- Edward Abbey
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Salome had but seven veils; the artist has a thousand. -- Edward Abbey
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Passion, sexual passion, may lead to marriage, but cannot sustain marriage. The purpose of marriage is the raising of children, for which patience, not passion, is the necessary foundation. -- Edward Abbey
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Doctrines like Christianity or Islam or Marxism require unanimity of belief. One dissenter casts doubt on the creed of millions. -- Edward Abbey
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The rifle and handgun are 'equalizers'
the weapons of a democracy. Tanks and bombers represent dictatorship. -- Edward Abbey
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The purpose and function of government is not to preside over change but to prevent change. By political methods when unavoidable, by violence when convenient. -- Edward Abbey
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There has never been an 'original' sin: each is quite banal. -- Edward Abbey
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Ah yes, the head is full of books. The hard part is to force them down through the bloodstream and out through the fingers. -- Edward Abbey
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To the question: Wilderness, who needs it? Doc would say: Because we like the taste of freedom, comrades. Because we like the smell of danger. But, thought Hayduke, what about the smell of fear, Dad? -- Edward Abbey
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There has never yet been a human society worthy of the name of civilization. Civilization remains a remote ideal. -- Edward Abbey
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Wilderness. The word itself is music. -- Edward Abbey
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There is no force more potent in the modern world than stupidity fueled by greed. -- Edward Abbey
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Death is every man's final critic. To die well you must live bravely. -- Edward Abbey
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James Joyce buried himself in his great work. _Finnegan's Wake_ is his monument and his tombstone. A dead end. -- Edward Abbey
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You could, if you wanted to, spend your entire life in a sitting position. When you weren't lying down. -- Edward Abbey
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A journey into the wilderness is the freest, cheapest, most nonprivileged of pleasures. Anyone with two legs and the price of a pair of army surplus combat boots may enter. -- Edward Abbey
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Our culture runs on coffee and gasoline, the first often tasting like the second. -- Edward Abbey
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I'm in favor of animal liberation. Why? Because I'm an animal. -- Edward Abbey
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I don't see how poetry can ever be easy ... Real poetry, the thick, dense, intense, complicated stuff that lives and endures, requires blood sweat; blood and sweat are essential elements in poetry as well as behind it. -- Edward Abbey
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Anarchy works. Italy has proved it for a thousand years. -- Edward Abbey
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One mile farther and I come to a second grave beside the road, nameless like the other, marked only with the dull blue-black stones of the badlands. I do not pause this time. The more often you stop the more difficult it is to continue. Stop too long and they cover you with rocks. -- Edward Abbey
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All revolutions have failed? Perhaps. But rebellion for good cause is self- justifying
a good in itself. Rebellion transforms slaves into human beings, if only for an hour. -- Edward Abbey
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Nothing can excel a few days in jail for giving a young man or woman a quick education in the basis of industrial society. -- Edward Abbey
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I have written much about many good places. But the best places of all, I have never mentioned. -- Edward Abbey
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England has never enjoyed a genuine social revolution. Maybe that's what's wrong with that dear, tepid, vapid, insipid, stuffy, little country. -- Edward Abbey
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Every important change in our society, for the good, at least, has taken place because of popular pressure-pressure from below, from the great mass of people. -- Edward Abbey
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I stand for what I stand on. -- Edward Abbey
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Filling out the form: Race? Human. Religion? Paiute. Occupation? Criminal anarchy. Hobbies? Survival with honor. -- Edward Abbey
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You can't study the darkness by flooding it with light. -- Edward Abbey
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What is truth? I don't know and I'm sorry I brought it up. -- Edward Abbey
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Life: another day, another dolor. -- Edward Abbey
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Once upon a time, I dreamed of becoming a great man. Later, a good man. Now, finally, I find it difficult enough and honor enough to be
a man. -- Edward Abbey
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A good philosopher is one who does not take ideas seriously. -- Edward Abbey
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Most of us lead lives of chaotic improvisation from day to day, bawling for peace while plunging grimly into fresh disorders. -- Edward Abbey
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The love of wilderness is more than a hunger for what is always beyong reach; it is also an expression of loyalty to the earth, the earth which bore us and sustains us, the only paradise we shall ever know, the only paradise we ever need, if only we had the eyes to see. -- Edward Abbey
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Freedom begins between the ears. -- Edward Abbey
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Our modern industrial economy takes a mountain covered with trees, lakes, running streams and transforms it into a mountain of junk, garbage, slime pits, and debris. -- Edward Abbey
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We live in a society in which it is normal to be sick; and sick to be abnormal. -- Edward Abbey
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The one great gift to humankind from our nuclear physicists has been the nuclear bomb. How can we ever thank them? -- Edward Abbey
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Where all think alike there is little danger of innovation. -- Edward Abbey
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My computer tells me that in twenty-five years there will be no more computers. -- Edward Abbey
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Suppose we were planning to impose a dictatorial regime upon the American people - the following preparations would be essential: -- Edward Abbey
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I intend to be good for the rest of my natural life
if I live that long. -- Edward Abbey
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Books are like eggs
best when fresh. -- Edward Abbey
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As between the skulking and furtive poacher, who hunts for the sake of meat, and the honest gentleman shooter, who kills for the pleasure of sport, I find the former a higher type of humanity. -- Edward Abbey
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Platitude: a statement that denies by implication what it explicitly affirms. -- Edward Abbey
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Most new books drop immediately into the oblivion they so richly deserve. -- Edward Abbey
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Sentiment without action is the ruin of the soul. -- Edward Abbey
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Spartacus, like Jesus, was also crucified by the Romans. And for equally good reasons. -- Edward Abbey
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If people persist in trespassing upon the grizzlies' territory, we must accept the fact that the grizzlies, from time to time, will harvest a few trespassers. -- Edward Abbey
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Humans were free before the word freedom became necessary. -- Edward Abbey
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Simplicity is always a virtue. -- Edward Abbey
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Concrete is heavy; iron is hard - but the grass will prevail. -- Edward Abbey
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Democracy
rule by the people
sounds like a fine thing; we should try it sometime in America. -- Edward Abbey
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When the situation is hopeless, there's nothing to worry about. -- Edward Abbey
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Scientific method: There's a madness in the method. -- Edward Abbey
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I do love you. I'd be one miserable and lonesome man without you around. -- Edward Abbey
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Only a fool would leave the enjoyment of rainbows to the opticians. Or give the science of optics the last word on the matter. -- Edward Abbey
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Some lives are tragic, some ridiculous. Most are both at once. -- Edward Abbey
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The writer concerned more with technique than truth becomes a technician, not an artist. -- Edward Abbey
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How strange and wonderful is our home, our earth, with its swirling vaporous atmosphere, its flowing and frozen liquids, its trembling plants, its creeping, crawling, climbing creatures, the croaking things with wings that hang on rocks and soar through the fog, the furry grass, the scaly seas. -- Edward Abbey
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In the world of words, one of my best-loved tribes is the diatribe. -- Edward Abbey
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Chastity is more a state of mind than of anatomy. -- Edward Abbey
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If I should object to force I will be arrested. If I object to arrest I will be clubbed. If I defend myself against clubbing I will be shot. These procedures are known as The Rule of Law. -- Edward Abbey
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It is true that some of my fiction was based on actual events. But the events took place after the fiction was written. -- Edward Abbey
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Wilderness begins in the human mind. -- Edward Abbey
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A man on foot, on horseback or on a bicycle will see more, feel more, enjoy more in one mile than the motorized tourists can in a hundred miles. -- Edward Abbey
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When I hear the word 'culture', I reach for my checkbook. -- Edward Abbey
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What is the purpose of the giant sequoia tree? The purpose of the giant sequoia tree is to provide shade for the tiny titmouse. -- Edward Abbey