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Richard F. Fleck

1937 -
 Richard F. Fleck
  • American literature professor. Positions in his 40-year career included the University of Wyoming; Visiting Professor at Osaka University and Kobe College, Japan; Visiting Professor at the State University of New York at Cortland; Dean of Arts and Humanities at the Community College of Denver. Currently Adjunct Professor at Metropolitan State College of Denver and at the University of Northern Colorado and graduate advisor for Prescott College, Arizona. He still remains active by climbing mountains at age 81.
  • As an undergraduate student, Fleck visited a Princeton University Library Book Sale. He purchased for $10 the ten volume set of the manuscript edition 1916-1923 of the writings of John Muir; a complete set of which now sells for thousands of dollars. He says, "Once I started to read, I became hooked."
  • John Muir inspired Fleck to write about the Rocky Mountains in various essays. He is now collecting these essays into a volume Breaking Through The Clouds: An Alpine Chronicle. Muir inspired Fleck also to help on the Save the Walden Woods project headed by Don Henley, and he now serves on the Advisory Committee of Restore Hetch Hetchy.
  • Fleck says what he most appreciates about John Muir is "his unabashed enthusiasm for all that is wild."
  • Fleck is the author of a scholarly study entitled Thoreau And Muir Among The Indians, 1985. This book was re-issued and re-titled in 2015 as Henry Thoreau and John Muir Among the Native Americans (West Winds Press, 2015).

  • He is the editor of several reprints of John Muir's writings, including the 1981 University of Wisconsin edition of Our National Parks; a collection of Muir's Mountaineering Essays; and a 1989 edition of S. Hall Young's Alaska Days with John Muir. He also wrote forewords for the Graphic Arts Books/ Literary Naturalist Series beginning with Alaska Days With John Muir in 2013, John Muir's Cruise of the Corwin in 2014, and other books.
  • Fleck also edited selections of Henry D. Thoreau's "Indian Notebooks" in his book The Indians of Thoreau (1974), scholarly study entitled "Critical Perspectives on Native American Fiction (1993, 1997)," and of numerous paperback reprints of Thoreau including the first Japanese edition (in English with textual notes in Japanese) of Thoreau's The Maine Woods (1984) as well as the 1987 Harper and Row edition of The Maine Woods. He also wrote our small press volumes of nature poetry, two novels on Ireland (first published in 1979 and reprinted in 2000, with a second in spring 2003). He is the author of the new books, Life Above 7000 Feet in Wyoming (2015), Singing to the Rising Sun (2017), and Mesas and Canyons of the American West: A Chapbook of Poems (2019).

  • His latest book discussing John Muir is From Iceland to Alaska: Observations on Tribal Cultures and the Land, published online by the Thoreau Institute at Walden Woods, July 2018.) This ebook in PDF format includes several of the essays lissted below.

  • The Walden Woods Project holds the repository for The Richard F. Fleck Papers
  • Dr. Fleck says that not only does he enjoy reading John Muir, but "My three children all enjoy reading John Muir as, I am sure, their children will also (when they're old enough)."



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