John Daniel• Born in South Carolina, but Raised in Washington D.C.• Dropped out of Reed College (Portland, Or)• Worked as a logger, railroad inspector, rock climbing instructor, hod carrier, and poet-in-the-schools (all in Oregon)• Got M.A. at Stanford University in English/Creative Writing
Writing Career• Got M.A. at Stanford University in English/Creative Writing• Taught Freshman English for 5years now full time writer• Wrote this book in December of 2008
Topics Addressed• Main purpose addressed in the essay is that rootlessness is not always a bad thing• It can be better as it widens a person’s view of the world• Staying in one place can limit your impressions or knowledge of the world• Outside impressions/opinions can be very useful
Topics Addressed• John Daniel is not against staying in one place but he recognizes the benefits that travelling brings people• He also says many people who live in one place their entire life can lose sight of the beauty that surrounds them
Quotes• “I address some of the less salutary aspects of living in place and some of the joys and perhaps necessary virtues of rootlessness.” (160-161)• “… that place is to inspire in hummingbirds a fiercely intense desire to impale one another on their needlelike beaks… It is merely a demonstration of over identification with place. Humans do it too.” (161-162)
Quotes• “Motion for him (Muir) was not a pathology but a devotion , an essential joy, an ongoing discovery of place and self” (163-164)• “It infects all of us to one degree or another.” (164)• “As followers of the Grateful Dead like to remind us, quoting J.R.R. Tolkien, ‘Not all who wander are lost.’” (164)
Writing Strategies• Author uses his life stories to help prove his point, which adds creditability to his argument in favor of rootlessness• Does not say that rootlessness is always the right way to do things, but supports both sides of the argument• Provides examples from other people’s lives like John Muir and Hank Williams to show how people still have a passion for “place”, where ever that might be
Discussion Topics• What are some interesting places you have been to?• How have these shaped you?• Where are places you would like to go?• Do you want to live in multiple locations or find one place and stay in it?• Do you look at the places you see everyday the same as someone who is just seeing it for the first time?• Where would be your dream place of living? (city, small town, middle of the country, bustling metropolis, etc. )
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