The Environmental Imagination: Thoreau, Nature Writing, and the Formation of American Culture / Edition 1

The Environmental Imagination: Thoreau, Nature Writing, and the Formation of American Culture / Edition 1

by Lawrence Buell, Henry David Thoreau
     
 

ISBN-10: 0674258622

ISBN-13: 9780674258624

Pub. Date: 09/28/1996

Publisher: Harvard

With the environmental crisis comes a crisis of the imagination, a need to find new ways to understand nature and humanity's relation to it. This is the challenge Lawrence Buell takes up in The Environmental Imagination, the most ambitious study to date of how literature represents the natural environment. With Thoreau's Walden as a touchstone, Buell

…  See more details below

Overview

With the environmental crisis comes a crisis of the imagination, a need to find new ways to understand nature and humanity's relation to it. This is the challenge Lawrence Buell takes up in The Environmental Imagination, the most ambitious study to date of how literature represents the natural environment. With Thoreau's Walden as a touchstone, Buell gives us a far-reaching account of environmental perception, the place of nature in the history of western thought, and the consequences for literary scholarship of attempting to imagine a more "ecocentric" way of being. In doing so, he provides a major new understanding of Thoreau's achievement and, at the same time, a profound rethinking of our literary and cultural reflections on nature.

The green tradition in American writing commands Buell's special attention, particularly environmental nonfiction from colonial times to the present. In works by writers from Crevecoeur to Wendell Berry, John Muir to Aldo Leopold, Rachel Carson to Leslie Silko, Mary Austin to Edward Abbey, he examines enduring environmental themes such as the dream of relinquishment, the personification of the nonhuman, an attentiveness to environmental cycles, a devotion to place, and a prophetic awareness of possible ecocatastrophe. At the center of this study we find an image of Walden as a quest for greater environmental awareness, an impetus and guide for Buell as he develops a new vision of environmental writing and seeks a new way of conceiving the relation between human imagination and environmental actuality in the age of industrialization. Intricate and challenging in its arguments, yet engagingly and elegantly written, The Environmental Imagination is a major work of scholarship, one that establishes a new basis for reading American nature writing.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780674258624
Publisher:
Harvard
Publication date:
09/28/1996
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
600
Sales rank:
1,144,503
Product dimensions:
6.25(w) x 9.25(h) x (d)

Table of Contents

Abbreviations

Introduction

PART 1: Historical and Theoretical Contexts

1. Pastoral Ideology

2. New World Dreams and Environmental Actualities

3. Representing the Environment

4. Walden's Environmental Projects

PART 2: Forms of Literary Ecocentrism

5. The Aesthetics of Relinquishment

6. Nature's Personhood

7. Nature's Face, Mind's Eye: Realizing the Seasons

8. Place

9. Environmental Apocalypticism

PART 3: Environmental Sainthood

10. The Thoreauvian Pilgrimage

11. The Canonization and Recanonization of the Green Thoreau

12. Text as Testament: Reading Walden for the Author

Appendix Nature's Genres: Environmental Nonfiction at the Time of Thoreau's Emergence

Notes

Acknowledgments

Index

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >