Gary Snyder Remembers Jim Harrison
Of Dogs, Fishing, and the Ways of Freedom
There have been a few media responses to Jim’s death that only stress “appetite” and “masculinity,” etc. Though Jim enjoyed his reputation as a bad boy, that was just playfulness. I see a deep strain in his work, the predominant strain perhaps, of following and exposing how people will find themselves, explore new paths, rebuild their lives, gain a strange and remarkable courage, and inspire others. His interest in the Buddhist teachings (and dogs, and fishing, and the ways of freedom) was not trivial. I’m sure this deeper aspect of Jim’s life and works will come clear over time.