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Cover image for Rogue River journal : a winter alone
Format:
Title:
Rogue River journal : a winter alone
ISBN:
9781593760519
Publication Information:
Washington, D.C. : Shoemaker & Hoard ; [Berkeley, Calif.] : Distributed by Publishers Group West, ©2005.
Physical Description:
352 pages ; 24 cm
Summary:
"In November of 2000, after the presidential election but before the final results were handed down by the Supreme Court, John Daniel climbed into his pickup, drove to a remote location in the Oregon's Rogue River Canyon, and quit civilization. The strictures set up were severe. No two-way human communication - not even with his wife - no radio, no music, not even his cat. He would isolate himself in a cabin sure to be snowed in soon after his arrival, intent on hearing no human voice but his own until spring thawed the road."

"Thoreau's Walden and Journals came with him for inspiration and instruction. Daniel would practice his domestic economy, meditate every day, and keep a journal, writing about the experience of solitude. But in addition to the mental and physical rigors of isolation, he intended to do spiritual work during his sojourn: to come to terms with his dead father, a charismatic union organizer during the heyday of the American labor movement, and to relive the troubled passage of his late teens and early twenties in the 1960s, when he dropped out of college, dithered over the military draft, and lived as a hippie in San Francisco and Portland.

These narratives weave together, and the result, Rogue River Journal, is a memoir of the joys and tribulations of solitude, the mysteries of growing up, and the haunting legacies of a father."--Jacket.
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921 DANIEL 2005
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921 DAN NW
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928 DANIEL, JOHN
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921 DANIEL, JOHN
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921 DANIEL
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921 DANIEL John
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818.6 DANIEL
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Summary

Summary

In November of 2000, after the Presidential election but before the final results were determined, John Daniel climbed into his pickup, drove to a cabin in the Red River Gorge, and quit civilization. The strictures were severe. No two-way human communications no radio, no music, no clocks or calendars, not even his cat. He would leave his wife behind and put himself into a cabin sure to be snowed-in just after his arrival, and he would live in complete isolation until spring.
He was intent on not hearing a human voice other than his own for the next six months. Thoreau is never far away from ideas like these, and Thoreau's Journals had provided both instruction and inspiration. For in addition to the physical rigor of living in isolation, John Daniel intended to do spiritual work while living alone. A writer living alone is bound to write. And that he did. The result, The Rogue River Journal, is a remarkable memoir.


Reviews 2

Kirkus Review

A candid but polished sojourn into solitude and memory. Late in 2000, poet and essayist Daniel (Winter Creek, 2002, etc.) took himself deep into the backcountry of Oregon for a few months of solitude, to a cabin without electricity or neighbors, tucked into a canyon with forested slopes. The Rogue River slid by within earshot, and there was a meadow to watch the comings and goings of wildlife. Daniel was there to see how he might grow, what he might learn, from the quietude, but he got distracted. The memory of his father, Franz Daniel, was a prime diversion and puzzle. Franz was an intellectual with rural roots, a union organizer of uncommon zeal and charisma, drawn to the ministry but more so to applied religion, social justice, decency--and the bottle. As Daniel goes about his distracted way--dueling with the turkey that's eating his garden goods, tendering a theory of grouse (they know when a human in their midst has a gun), reveling in the visit of a bobcat, coming to "love the little particularities of things, their jags and curves and rough or silky textures, the exactly this that they present"--he quarries his father's life, finding in it an enormous, nurturing good, even while the house he grew up in was one of drunkenness and anger. Then, too, his own life beckons, urging him to quit the fretting, "do what you're doing," live the moment. Still, he'll look long and hard at the path that has brought him to this juncture, his own strong and weak suits--the question of courage in all its ambiguity won't go begging in these pages--that brought into being whatever resources of attention and creative association he now possesses. Daniel's time alone is potent, a dilation on the amusements and scorchings of the simple life, and a distillation of the strange, human group that was his family. Copyright ©Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.


Booklist Review

Poet and essayist Daniel spent one winter in an electricity-free cabin as writer-in-residence at the Dutch Henry Homestead on Oregon's Rogue River. He planned to write one book about the experience of solitude, and another about his father, prominent labor leader Franz Daniel. Happily, the two projects merged in a work that anchors the history of the American labor movement to the life of a man who devoted more than 30 years to organizing labor unions, and which tells the story of the author coming-of-age during the 1960s as the son of a charismatic man and the product of a tumultuous marriage. Journal entries chronicle Franz's descent into alcoholism, as well as the author's own battles with drugs, and his refused induction into the military during the Vietnam War. As he watches winter turn to spring, the author makes peace with his deceased father--forgiving him his rages and alcoholism--and becomes more lenient toward his own, younger self in a lovely melding of memory and natural history. --Rebecca Maksel Copyright 2005 Booklist