Gary Snyder Essay

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Gary Snyder Gary Snyder's childhood and years to come contributed greatly to his intellectual adult workings. The Norton Anthology says that Snyder's poems are acts of cultural criticism, challenges to the dominant values of the contemporary world. He was born in San Francisco in 1930, but he was raised on a small farm in Washington state an later moved to Portland, Oregon (Norton Anthology). Growing up in these wooded states, Snyder became very attached to nature. His love for nature is what drove him to study and respect the native Indian cultures that provided a closer relationship with it. After a visit to the Seattle Art Museum, where a Chinese landscape painting introduced him to their culture, Snyder began to observe them as a superior civilization that maintained bonds with nature. After high school, he split his time between studies at college and working. He attended some schooling at Reed College and later University of Indiana, but finished at the University of California-Berkeley. He chose to finish at Berkeley because he wanted to study the Oriental languages in China. He worked as a lumberjack, trail maker, and a fire-watcher during these years too. These jobs would appear in his writings and will have key roles in understanding his work. While in San Francisco, he joined some community writers, including Philip Whalen and Allen Ginsberg, and they were soon heralded as the forerunners of a revolution in literature. In 1956, Snyder moved to Japan and remained overseas for twelve years. This is where he devoted himself to the study and meditation ways of Zen Buddhism. When Snyder moved back to the United States, he built his current home along the Yuba River in the northern Sierra Nevada Mountains and he currently works as an English professor at the University of California-Davis. He has won many awards and honors for his writings and was elected a

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