This is the 102nd post on the George R. Stewart pages. It’s been challenging and enjoyable to summarize his work and life and to describe the work of those who have been inspired by him.The posts are read in many countries – 45 at last count. That’s rewarding. Some readers have posted appreciative, or helpful comments. That, too, is rewarding.
Now, due to the approach of reconstruction, I’m leaving the historic Walking Box Ranch. This means that internet access will be infrequent, until I settle into some future assignment. So I’ll be taking a break.
In this century of posts, I’ve shared the life and work of George R. Stewart with you: from his early decision to write beyond the traditional English Professor’s milieu to his paradigm-shifting use of the ecosystem – “the land” – as the principle protagonist in a history (the first Whole Earth work) and in a series of ecological/geographic novels. The last book explored on these pages was EARTH ABIDES, the summit of Stewart’s ecological fiction. Since we’ve taken a long look at that novel and its influences, this is a good place to take a break.
But we’re not done. There’s much more to say about Stewart and his influence. He wrote two more novels, both with geographic/ecological themes. (One of those has been called the first “post-modernist” novel.) He invented other types of literature: the odological – “road study” – book and the Civil Liberties work. He was one of the inventors of the micro-history. In the 1960s, as the Environmental Movement (inspired in part by his work) took hold, he wrote the first popular work about the need to deal with waste, offering therein the first popular description of “global warming.”
In fact, in 1949, the year of the birth of EARTH ABIDES, Stewart was only half-way through his creative life. He would go on to write more than a dozen books before he hung up his pencil. So there’s much more to write about, and to share with you, when time and conditions permit. In the meantime, thanks for reading this and sharing your ideas with me.
May the roads be good.
Read lots of books.