Writing for an Endangered World : Literature, Culture and Environment in the U.S. and Beyond
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The environmental imagination does not stop short at the edge of the woods. Nor should our understanding of it, as Lawrence Buell makes clear in this book that aims to reshape the field of literature and environmental studies. Emphasizing the influence of the physical environment on individual and collective perception, his book thus provides the theoretical underpinnings for ecocriticism. This work offers a conception of the physical environment - whether built or natural - as simultaneously found and constructed, and treats imaginative representations of it as acts of both discovery and invention. A number of the chapters develop this idea through parallel studies of figures identified with either "natural" or urban settings: John Muir and Jane Addams; Aldo Leopold and William Faulkner; Robinson Jeffers and Theodore Dreiser; Wendell Berry and Gwendolyn Brooks. Focusing on 19th- and 20th-century writers, but ranging freely across national borders, this book re-imagines city and country as a single complex landscape.