Mr.Quinn I recently read Ishmael for a program on Civilization and History I am currently enrolled in and thoroughly enjoyed it; however I am aware that others are very critical of it.

Some critics claim that the kind and gentle warning delivered in Ishmael is actually a wolf in sheep’s clothing. In fact, some go as far as claiming it to be subversive Nazi propaganda.

What would you say to these critics if given the chance?

I am a film student in his last year ready to begin my final project. I would like your blessing to spread the word of Ishmael using your ideas in a film. I am not asking for permission to plagiarize. In fact this film will be used to show to fellow students only and will be of my adaptation and not of your words.

I don’t know why I feel compelled to ask you but a response would be greatly heart-warming. It is important to continue this silent revolution through art and your permission would be inspiring (an aspect of art I rarely come across) thank you for your time and wisdom.

I first heard about Derrick Jensen’s work through a recommendation you made on your reading list several years ago for his book A Language Older Than Words. I thought Language was a deeply moving and beautiful book—still do—and I also admired his next book, The Culture of Make Believe, though its subject was so dark as to make it far from enjoyable for me.

In his more recent work, though, Jensen has expressed his conviction that “[t]his culture will not undergo any sort of voluntary transformation to a sane and sustainable way of living” (quoting from Endgame). Based on that assumption, he’s argued that the very best those who love the world can do is to try to bring civilization down as soon as possible in a sort of planned demolition, like taking down a condemned building.

While I don’t agree with Jensen and see no reason to think you do based on my understanding of your work, my impression is that many people with an earnest desire to save the world have read books by both of you and would likely be interested in reading your reaction to his clarion call for us to “bring it all down.”

Near the conclusion of Ishmael, you proclaimed that humans in the Taker culture have stopped evolving, because they do not live in the hands of the gods. This is the only idea of yours that I cannot wrap my mind around.

I don’t understand how or why evolution would cease for a segment of one species but not for another segment of the same species…especially considering the segment for which evolution supposedly has ceased contains the vast majority of the total species’ population.

In addition, how have the Leaver peoples evolved, and what proof do we have of that evolution?