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Contents:


  1. Neo-Pastoral Themes in American Fiction from 1960 to the Present
  2. Upcoming Events
  3. Ecocritical Theology
  4. PAL:Appendix U: Nature, Ecocriticism, & Ecofeminism

Contents Freud, Bakhtin, and Rabbit: an ecocritical look at totem, animism, and the rogue in John Updike's Rabbit, run And the word was made metaphor: Oedipa's religious instant in Thomas Pynchon's The crying of lot 49 Nature, god, and politics: deep ecology and Spinozan theory in Bernard Malamud's The fixer Apocalypse visited: toxic consciousness in Don Delillo's White noise Re-weaving master metaphors in Leslie Marmon Silko's Almanac of the dead Interlocking pillars of oppression: ecofeminist theology in Toni Morrison's Paradise Theories of ecotheology in Barbara Kingsolver's Prodigal summer Sophia's table and nuclear narrative in Cormac McCarthy's The road.

Summary The literary field of ecocriticism appraises texts from the perspective of the natural world, its biosystems, its animals human and otherwise , and its ecological interconnections. Exploring a range of contemporary American novelists whose narratives resonate with the ecological challenges of late capitalism, this work examines humankind's relationship with the environment in the context of Judeo-Christian theological views. While some are successful, others turn away from the landscape's spirituality, retreating into technological inventions.

The journeys of these fictional American heroes, this volume shows, mirror ongoing, theological, nuclear age convictions. Naturalism in literature. Self-realization in literature. Bibliographic information.

Neo-Pastoral Themes in American Fiction from 1960 to the Present

Publication date ISBN softcover : alk. Browse related items Start at call number: PS N29 A84 Librarian view Catkey: Many of the vanguard figures were openly and overtly concerned with the world outside the college gates. Some forged at least a tacit partnership with such historians as the senior Arthur M. Yet the originating figures of American literary studies have been described in recent years as narrow-minded men until the s and s, they were almost all men with retrograde minds occluded by the sexual and racial prejudices of their time.

This is, at best, a caricature and, at worst, a slander. American literary studies in these formative years was emphatically un- or even anti-academic. There was a natural affinity between professors interested in the history of their own literature — a short history, after all — and undergraduate writers who hoped to make a place for themselves in the literary histories of the future.

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Professionalization, of course, was inevitable. By the s, New Criticism was the reigning orthodoxy in literary studies. The techniques of New Critical analysis revealed that at least a few American works had a density and complexity comparable to the most difficult, and therefore according to the criteria of the New Criticism most rewarding, modernist poems. He brought to his writing the kind of formal scrupulosity associated with F. Leavis and William Empson in England, and along with fellow travelers Robert Penn Warren and Cleanth Brooks who eventually converged at Yale , he inaugurated a tradition that continues today in the work of such adept close readers as Richard Poirier and William Pritchard.

One dissenter from the aesthetic turn, Henry Nash Smith, who was among the first recipients of the Ph. Here was the keynote of the American studies movement, which flourished in the postwar years as an eclectic alternative to both English and history at a number of universities, including Pennsylvania, George Washington, and Case Western Reserve, as well as at Yale, Harvard, and Berkeley. On many campuses, American studies seceded, in fact if not always in name, from the English department.


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American studies scholars sometimes clustered within English as a quasi-independent subdepartment or broke away into departments or programs of their own. We merely find society without art instead of art without society. Even in its more strictly literary manifestations, such as R.

The patterns that interested American studies scholars tended to be expressions of progressive hope, and it is perhaps a measure of their intense personal investment in the promise of America that a striking number of leading figures in the field fell into disappointment and even despair.

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Ecocritical Theology

Perry Miller hastened his own death at age fifty-eight by poisoning himself with alcohol a few weeks after the assassination of President Kennedy. The range and imagination of these scholars were far-reaching, but their intellectual force was centripetal. They wanted to penetrate through a great variety of texts to some unitary core of Americanness. Recently, their movement has come under sharp attack as a collection of insouciant dreamers — men who elided ethnic, racial, class, and gender differences and confused the fantasies of elites with the experiences of ordinary people.

PAL:Appendix U: Nature, Ecocriticism, & Ecofeminism

Lawrence, and W. Du Bois. Martin Luther King, Jr. The individualist frontiersman of Smith and Lewis became the marauding Indian-killer of Richard Slotkin in his Regeneration Through Violence: The Mythology of the American Frontier, — — a book that read the Vietnam War back into the nineteenth-century Indian wars. Bercovitch himself made a potent argument, similar to that of Louis Hartz in The Liberal Tradition in America , that America lacked any political alternative to a property-oriented, individualist liberalism.

Matthiessen and his ilk had left conflict out of the story — or so the charge went.


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  • By the late s, the heat of the polemics was subsiding, and the New Americanists were starting to sound old. They fought with their predecessors, after all, mainly over texts whose significance both parties assumed. After the sound and fury of the s — the decade in which the s college generation came into tenured positions and Ronald Reagan came into the White House — a heightened awareness of sexual as well as racial and ethnic difference now almost universally informed American literary criticism.

    Previously marginal writers Martin Delany, Ann Petry, Zora Neale Hurston, Nella Larsen were now key figures in the story; writers who had long been central, such as Cooper and Melville, were revealed as struggling with unresolved racial and sexual preoccupations. Representation is one thing, but integration is another.

    The confines of what had once been regarded as American literature had been exploded. There had once been a more or less official literature, in which writers from John Pendleton Kennedy Swallow Barn [] to Margaret Mitchell Gone with the Wind [] portrayed black people chiefly as plantation darkies.

    But now the reviled and exploited moved to the center of the story — and their voices were heard strongly in the classroom for the first time. Those who worked in the movements came to see that to sustain hope for a future, people needed to grasp a meaningful past. But even the changes that made reading lists unrecognizable to students who had attended college just twenty years earlier did not tell the full story of what had happened. Leslie Fiedler, a prolific critic who participated in both waves of the American studies movement, issued, in , what amounted to a farewell to the whole business of academic literary study.

    Fiedler went further. Always a marginal figure with respect to the academic power centers — his teaching posts were at Montana State University and the State University of New York at Buffalo — he had his finger on the pulse of the larger culture. In the age of television and video, he saw that literature was being permanently demoted, at least as a category to which only certain academically certified books were allowed to belong.

    Consider the valedictory title he gave to his collection, What Was Literature?

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    In Love and Death in the American Novel , Fiedler had long ago ventured into sexual and racial themes that previous critics had evaded; for him, popular culture was where one heard the heartbeat of America. Fiedler was interested in prose fiction not for the modernist virtues of intricacy or allusiveness but for its democratizing power as an early form of mass art.

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    Keyword Title Author Topic. Respecting The Stand; a critical analysis of Stephen King's apocalyptic novel.