Foote lived from untilroughly the period during which Susan Burling Ward lived, and, like Susan, married a self-educated mining engineer. The novel, although detailed and based on much fact, is essentially a fiction.
Sponsor This Essay It is terribly difficult to say honestly, without posing or faking, what one truly and fundamentally believes. In all honesty, what I believe is neither inspirational nor evangelical. Passionate faith I am suspicious of because it hangs witches and burns heretics, and generally I am more in sympathy with the witches and heretics than with the sectarians who hang and burn them.
I fear immoderate zeal, Christian, Muslim, Communist, or whatever, because it restricts the range of human understanding and the wise reconciliation of human differences, and creates an orthodoxy with a sword in its hand.
I cannot say that I am even a sound Christian, though the code of conduct to which I subscribe was preached more eloquently by Jesus Christ than by any other.
However far I have missed achieving it, I know that moderation is one of the virtues I most believe in. But I believe as well in a whole catalogue of Christian and classical virtues: I believe further that good depends not on things but on the use we make of things.
Everything potent, from human love to atomic energy, is dangerous; it produces ill about as readily as good; it becomes good only through the control, the discipline, the wisdom with which we use it. Much of this control is social, a thing which laws and institutions and uniforms enforce, but much of it must be personal, and I do not see how we can evade the obligation to take full responsibility for what we individually do.
Our reward for self-control and the acceptance of private responsibility is not necessarily money or power. Self-respect and the respect of others are quite enough. All this is to say that I believe in conscience, not as something implanted by divine act, but as something learned from infancy from the tradition and society which has bred us.
The outward forms of virtue will vary greatly from nation to nation; a Chinese scholar of the old school, or an Indian raised on the Vedas and the Bhagavad Gita, has a conscience that will differ from mine. But in the essential outlines of what constitutes human decency we vary amazingly little.
The Chinese and the Indian know as well as I do what kindness is, what generosity is, what fortitude is. They can define justice quite as accurately. It is only when they and I are blinded by tribal and denominational narrowness that we insist upon our differences and can recognize goodness only in the robes of our own crowd.
Man is a great enough creature and a great enough enigma to deserve both our pride and our compassion, and engage our fullest sense of mystery. But I am terribly glad to be alive; and when I have wit enough to think about it, terribly proud to be a man and an American, with all the rights and privileges that those words connote; and most of all I am humble before the responsibilities that are also mine.
Writer and educator Wallace Stegner published over 30 novels, collections of short stories and essays, and historical works. Stegner wrote about the American West, which he also fought to protect.
Donate If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc. Please contact This I Believe, Inc. Essay of the Week Curt Columbus feels that our increasing reliance on technology is making us more isolated and less interactive with each other.
By regularly visiting with neighbors, Columbus believes these small conversations and connections are the key to a vibrant democratic society. Click here to read his essay. Click here to read this selection of essays about life lessons learned from strangers.
Sign up for our free, weekly podcast of featured essays. You can download recent episodes individually, or subscribe to automatically receive each podcast. Click here to learn more. Frequently asked questions about the This I Believe project, educational opportunities and moreWallace Stegner, now in his 80’s, is still writing.
In April , The Collected Stories of Wallace Stegner was published to wide acclaim. In , his tenth novel, Crossing to Safety, was published, 50 years after publication of his first, Remembering urbanagricultureinitiative.com far, Stegner has written 31 books, a literary achievement of remarkable proportions.
Where the Bluebird Sings to the Lemonade Springs: Living and Writing in the West (Modern Library Classics) [Wallace Stegner, T.H. Watkins] on urbanagricultureinitiative.com *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. Nominated for a National Book Critics Circle award, Where the Bluebird Sings to the Lemonade Springs gathers together Wallace Stegner’s most important and memorable writings on the .
The essays, memoirs, letters, and speeches in this volume were written over a period of twenty-five years, a time in which the West witnessed rapid changes to its cultural and natural heritage, and Wallace Stegner emerged as an important conservation.
Eudora Alice Welty (April 13, – July 23, ) was an American short story writer and novelist who wrote about the American urbanagricultureinitiative.com novel The Optimist's Daughter won the Pulitzer Prize in Welty received numerous awards, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the Order of the urbanagricultureinitiative.com was the first living author to have her works published by the Library of America.
Writer and educator Wallace Stegner published over 30 novels, collections of short stories and essays, and historical works.
"The Big Rock Candy Mountain" was among his most popular novels, and "Angle of Repose" won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.
At last count, Wallace Stegner had written thirteen novels, two short story collections (their contents are included in the present omnibus), seven books of nonfiction, two collections of essays.