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New Rebecca Solnit: Too Soon to Tell

22 May 2013

Rebecca Solnit at the nature walk at Mimms Ranch as part of the Marfa Dialogues, 2 September 2012. Photo by Elizabeth Chapman.

Rebecca Solnit at the nature walk at Mimms Ranch, 2 September 2012. Photo by Elizabeth Chapman.

For the 10th anniversary of her “arrival” at the Tom Dispatch online journal, Rebecca Solnit contributes “Too Soon To Tell: The Case for Hope, Continued“, a deeply inspirational essay. An excerpt …

“If you take the long view, you’ll see how startlingly, how unexpectedly but regularly things change. Not by magic, but by the incremental effect of countless acts of courage, love, and commitment, the small drops that wear away stones and carve new landscapes, and sometimes by torrents of popular will that change the world suddenly. To say that is not to say that it will all come out fine in the end regardless. I’m just telling you that everything is in motion, and sometimes we are ourselves that movement.”

It’s a moving piece of writing from a thinker with such a wide range of influence that she’s credited as one of the leading lights of the anti-war movement, contributed profound essays to photographic catalogs by Richard Misrach and James Evans, and is cited as possible inspiration for the christening of Beyoncé and Jay-Z’s daughter. She’s also the author of such modern-day classics as A Field Guide to Getting Lost, A Paradise Built in Hell and Infinite City: A San Francisco Atlas.

Solnit was a participant in the 2012 edition of Marfa Dialogues: You can listen to an interview with her while she was visiting us out here in the Big Bend at Marfa Public Radio. Her new book, The Faraway Nearby, comes out on June 13.

Rebecca Solnit on the Gold Rush, the Google Bus and the erosion of San Francisco

6 Feb 2013

Rebecca Solnit at the nature walk at Mimms Ranch, 2 September 2012. Photo by Elizabeth Chapman.

In her new diary entry for the London Review of Books, writer and Marfa Dialogues 2012 moderator Rebecca Solnit takes a deep look at the effect that the rise of the Bay Area’s tech industry has had on San Francisco, and “what was once a great city of refuge for dissidents, queers, pacifists and experimentalists.”

In classic Solnit fashion, she takes the analogy between the tech boom and the Gold Rush to its likely — and usually overlooked — end. “San Francisco’s tech boom has often been compared to the Gold Rush, but without much discussion about what the Gold Rush meant beyond the cute images of bearded men in plaid shirts with pickaxes looking a lot like gay men in the Castro in the 1970s.”

The essay is available in its entirety on the LRB website and is well worth a read.

[via Arthur Magazine]