Gary Snyder is not a philosopher, nor does he”consider himself particularly a ‘Beat.” Snyder is a poet, and essayist, and outdoors- man and a practitioner of Buddhism. But despite his reluctance to identify with the Beat title, he has been undeniable influence on the Beat generation and it writers. He was fictionalized as the character Japhy Ryder in Jack Kerouac’s The Dharma Bums, and helped initiate the Sand Francisco Renaissance by organizing poetry reading with his close friend Allen Ginsberg, among others, thus ushering in the Beats as a recognized social force. Although not technically a philosopher in the traditional or academic sense, his writings contain a very complex treatment of modern society’s relationship to the natural world. Synder’s chief concerns are protecting nature from the ravages of civilization, putting humans back in touch with our “wild” selves and returning us to a sense of self-contemplation, community and embeddedness in nature.

Paul Messersmith-Glavin

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