Edward Abbey Quotes

Most popular Edward Abbey Quotes

Taxation: how the sheep are shorn.

taxes sheep

There are no vacant lots in nature.


Heaven is home. Utopia is here. Nirvana is now.
— Edward Abbey

present moment

Sentiment without action is the ruin of the soul.

writing action

One word is worth a thousand picture, if it's a right word.
— Edward Abbey
A pretentious fad-chaser...the pom-pom girl of American letters.
Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell.

growth cancer environment

The longest journey begins with a single step, not with the turn of an ignition key.

walking journeys

Society is like a stew.  If you don't keep it stirred up, you get a lot of scum on top.


One thing more dangerous than getting between a grizzly sow and her cub is getting between a businessman and a dollar bill.


Money is power.  I would expand the Biblical aphorism, therefore, in this fashion: the root of all evil is the love of power.


Walking is the only form of transportation in which a man proceeds erect—like a man—on his own legs, under his own power. There is immense satisfaction in that.


If my decomposing carcass helps nourish the roots of a juniper tree or the wings of a vulture—that is immortality enough for me.  And as much as anyone deserves.


Our modern industrial economy takes a mountain covered with trees, lakes, running streams and transforms it into a mountain of junk, garbage, slime pits, and debris.
— Edward Abbey


As a confirmed melancholic, I can testify that the best and maybe the only antidote for melancholia is action.  However, like most melancholics, I suffer also from sloth.

action melancholy

One final paragraph of advice: do not burn yourselves out. Be as I am — a reluctant enthusiast, a part-time crusader, a half-hearted fanatic. Save the other half of yourselves and your lives for pleasure and adventure.
— Edward Abbey
Now we find ourselves threatened by a new form of Puritanism called feminism, which attempts to stamp out sex by denying the fundamental and radical differences between men and women. But it is precisely the differences between male and female which create the tension and the delight.
— Edward Abbey

women's rights

I suppose this is a trivial matter but I do want to object to the maddening fuss-fidget punctuation which one of your editors is attempting to impose on my story.  I said it before but I'll say it again, that unless necessary for clarity of meaning I would prefer a minimum of goddamn commas, hyphens, apostrophes, quotation marks and fucking (most obscene of all punctuation marks) semi-colons.


Why write?  How justify this mad itch for scribbling?   Speaking for myself, I write to entertain my friends and to exasperate our enemies.  I write to record the truth of our times as best I can see it.  To investigate the comedy and tragedy of human relationships.  To oppose, resist, and sabotage the contemporary drift toward a global technocratic police state, whatever its ideological coloration.  I write to oppose injustice, to defy power, and to speak for the voiceless.

writing personal credos