On Dumpster Diving

LARS EIGHNER

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original source: <http://www.personal.psu.edu/faculty/j/m/jmh403/On_Dumpster_Diving.htm>
accessed 1-26-05
Lars Eighner was born in Corpus Christi, Texas, in 1946, and he later studied at the University of Texas. He worked as an attendant and ward worker in a mental institution from 1980 to 1987 before finding himself homeless for three years. Travels with Lizbeth (1993), the book that includes “On Dumpster Diving,” recounts these years. It began as letters to friends explaining his circumstances and evolved into a series of essays on equipment that he had found in the garbage. Eighner later sent the essays to the Threepenny Review for publication. “On Dumpster Diving” shows Eighner’s uniquely powerful insights and unconventional, yet elegant, prose style, which is similar in some ways to the nineteenth-century fiction he enjoys.

Long before I began Dumpster diving I was impressed with Dumpsters, enough so that I wrote the Merriam-Webster research service to discover what I could about the word “Dumpster.” I learned from them that “Dumpster” is a proprietary word belonging to the Dempsey Dumpster company.

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