The Thoreau of the Suburbs

by janeeatonhamilton

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Diana Saverin has written a gorgeous article for The Atlantic about Annie Dillard and ‘Pilgrim at Tinker Creek,’ a book that I count among my most cherished.  Sometimes I think that Dillard has been, unwittingly, slowly teaching me how to see, and how to write, for all these many years.

“In The Writing Life, Dillard describes what she sees as the goal of all literature, nonfiction as well as fiction: “Why are we reading, if not in hope of beauty laid bare, life heightened and its deepest mystery probed? Can the writer isolate and vivify all in experience that most deeply engages our intellects and our hearts?”” -Diana Saverin

On Annie Dillard

from ‘Tinker Creek:’

“I was walking along Tinker Creek and thinking of nothing at all and I saw the tree with the lights in it. I saw the backyard cedar where the mourning doves roost charged and transfigured, each cell buzzing with flame. I stood on the grass with the lights in it, grass that was wholly fire, utterly focused and utterly dreamed. It was less like seeing than like being for the first time seen, knocked breathless by a powerful glance.” -Anne Dillard