March 14, 2012

David Gessner: The Beer-Drinking, Cigar-Smoking, Foul-Mouthed Nature Writer

By ScottAllison in LRR, Nonfiction

Last Thursday, this guy gave a talk at UConn:

As you can probably draw from this post’s title, David Gessner is more like the anti-nature writer. But its not because he drinks beer, smokes cigars, and drops intermittent f-bombs. Gessner is the anti-nature writer because he takes a different look at nature than most of those who preach to us with buzz words like global warming. Gessner’s focus isn’t on saving the world. Instead, he just wants to experience it.

At the Dodd Center, Gessner spoke about his two very recent books, My Green Manifesto (which President Obama has supposedly read) and The Tarball Chronicles, about his trip to the Gulf immediately following the BP oil spill.

After his talk, I picked up My Green Manifesto, got it signed, and was lucky enough to go out to dinner with him and a couple others. This was one of my most exciting experiences as an undergrad. Eating Chinese food with a guy who has gone bird watching with Jonathan Franzen (who has probably gone bird watching with David Foster Wallace (does this mean I’m only four degrees from DFW and three from Franzen? Yes, it does.)); been read by Barack Obama; skis on the beach; doesn’t care for academic writing; and is most interested in giving you advice about your own writing, was thrilling. Now, as I read his book, he is one of only a few writers whom I’ve btoh known and read, and the only outside of Storrs.

Being a writer in college can lead to quite an identity crisis. I feel like I should be leading some type of stoic, insightful life. At the same time I need to be a college student, which entails engaging in many activities that are neither stoic or insightful. But as I read Gessner on Spring Break, between nights of beer, I don’t feel so bad. His written voice is exactly how he is in person. He is pretty unfiltered and doesn’t really care for academic language. His tone is conversational. So if there’s anything I’ve taken away from this experience of meeting and reading, its that we need not rely on conventions, especially in our writing. This reinforces an idea of Vonnegut’s that I read a few years ago (I’ve been searching for the quote for about a half hour now and cannot find it). He basically said that, in writing, we should pay no attention to what writers have done before us.

Gessner is a romantic to an extent, but doesn’t write like one. Instead he writes and acts in a way that speaks to me because of its honesty, because its how I speak. He doesn’t hide the Long Trails he’s drinking on his canoe trip down the Charles, or the cigars he’s smoking, or the fact that he hates the environmentalist book he’s reading. This honesty is what makes Gessner good, and I think it’s something we should strive for.

(Be on the lookout for an LRR interview with Gessner)

Leave a Reply

« »
Metformin sale cheap Metformin uk buy Lisinopril shipped cod cheapest place to buy Lisinopril Lisinopril no prescription to buy buy prednisone with mastercard buy prednisone canada (prednisone overnight without prescription|how to order prednisone online without a prescription|prednisone without prescriptions in usa|cheapest prednisone|buy prednisone over the counter|prednisone order online|cheap prednisone online no prescription|buy generic prednisone no prescription|prednisone buy cheap|prednisone generic|prednisone no prescription with mastercard|no prescription generic prednisone|prednisone no prescription needed|prednisone express online|purchase generic prednisone online|prednisone from mexico|prednisone online no prescriptions required from the US|prednisone cheap online canadian pharmacy|canadian generic prednisone no prescription|how to get prednisone online no prescription in 20 days|purchase prednisone online|prednisone generic sale|prednisone buy online without rx|wholesale prednisone|prednisone 40 mg without a prescription|prednisone without rx|prednisone without script|prednisone purchase canada|prednisone cheap online|b where to buy Metformin where can i buy Metformin online without a prescription buy Metformin uk buy Metformin diet pills buy discount Metformin uk order Metformin prescribing prednisone tablets australia prednisone order online buy generic Metformin online best buy Metformin order Metformin uk buy Metformin visa indian prednisone Finpecia 1mg india online|buy cheap Finpecia online|order Finpecia|Finpecia generic walmart|Finpecia online prescription|buy Finpecia 1mg online|Finpecia generic online|Finpecia costco price|order Finpecia online|buy Finpecia 1mg malaysia|purchase Finpecia uk|topical Finpecia buy|Finpecia 1 mg order online|Finpecia generic|buy Finpecia online canada|Finpecia 1 mg order online|Finpecia online india|Finpecia generic 1 mg|order Finpecia uk|Finpecia depression women|buy cheap Finpecia 1mg|Finpecia generic names|legal buy Finpecia online|Finpecia depression women|buy Finpecia 1mg india|Finpecia generic walmart|buy Finpecia 1mg online|Finpecia online india|buy Finpecia 1mg online|Finpecia 1mg tablets|Finpecia costco price|order Finpecia canada|buy Finpecia online australia|Finpecia dose hair|buy Finpecia online paypal|Finpecia 1mg|Finpecia 1mg for sale|Finpecia online uk|buy Finpecia uk|Finpecia 1mg vs 1mg|Finpecia generic walmart|Finpecia costco pharmacy|buy Finpecia online pa can you buy finpecia online where to buy finpecia online prescription Orlistat online Orlistat buy next day delivery on Orlistat saturday order generic Orlistat buy Orlistat without prescription (where can i buy Metformin without prescription|where to buy Metformin online|buy Metformin online without a prescription|buy cheap Metformin under without rx|Metformin buy online in stock|cheap Metformin|where can i buy Metformin without prescription|online pharmacy Metformin|buy Metformin without prescription|Metformin pricing|buy cheap Metformin under without rx|Metformin online purchase|buy Metformin c o d|buy cheap Metformin|cheap Metformin online|buy Metformin online cheap|wholesale Metformin cheap|buy Metformin shipped cod|where to buy Metformin without a prescription|generic Metformin prices|Metformin rezept|buy Metformin legally|buy cheap generic Metformin|Metformin toronto|buy Metformin online without a prescription|online Metformin|online prescription Metformin|generic Metformin|what is Metformin|cost of Metformin|buy Metformin in england|online Metformin buy|Metformin online pharmacy|cheapest place to buy Metformin|Metformin for pets|cheap generic Metformin|Me buy Metformin without prescription Finpecia 1 mg no prescription online|Finpecia 1 mg order online|Finpecia generic vs propecia|Finpecia cost australia|buy generic Finpecia uk|purchase Finpecia uk|buy Finpecia online prescription|buy generic Finpecia 1mg|buy Finpecia|Finpecia online australia|buy Finpecia no prescription uk|order Finpecia 1mg|buy Finpecia cheap|Finpecia generic 1mg|Finpecia online prescription|Finpecia 1mg generic canada|Finpecia costco pharmacy|Finpecia 1mg india|Finpecia generic walmart|buy Finpecia no prescription forum|buy Finpecia online australia|Finpecia online uk) Amitriptyline buy online buy mail order Amitriptyline non rx cheap Lisinopril cheap finpecia no rx buy lisinopril no prescription finpecia buy lisinopril Premarin overnight cod order Premarin without prescription to ship overnight buy line Premarin buy generic Premarin from india where to purchase cheap Zovirax no rx Zovirax wholesale can you buy finpecia online buy lisinopril buy lisinopril finpecia online uk purchase cheap Lisinopril buy on line Premarin maxalt ordering