"Each one a pilgrim of four billion years": Religious perspectives on animals in the prose of Annie Dillard and Gary Snyder
Posted on 16. Aug, 2010 by James Miller
|Title||"Each one a pilgrim of four billion years": Religious perspectives on animals in the prose of Annie Dillard and Gary Snyder|
|Year of Publication||2008|
|Authors||Barondeau, Benjamin Michael|
|ISBN Number||9781109335460, 1109335466|
|Keywords||American literature, Modern literature, Religion|
One major problem facing North Americans at the beginning of the twenty-first century is alienation from the natural world, particularly from animals. A number of U.S. authors have advocated various biocentric solutions to this problem, which often are religious in nature and which focus on renewing a severed relationship between human and nonhuman beings. Two authors who address this dilemma according to specific religious traditions are Annie Dillard and Gary Snyder. This study focuses on selected prose works from each author, including Dillard's Pilgrim at Tinker Creek and "Living Like Weasels" and Snyder's The Practice of the Wild and Back on the Fire . It addresses the ways that each author interprets predation, fecundity, and death in the animal world, as well as how each comes to accept animals as her or his companions. This study also addresses the importance of non-religious alternatives to reversing human alienation from animals.