The Ecocriticism Reader: Landmarks in Literary Ecology

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The Ecocriticism Reader is the first collection of its kind, an anthology of classic and cutting-edge writings in the rapidly emerging field of literary ecology. Exploring the relationship between literature and the physical environment, literary ecology is the study of the ways that writing both reflects and influences our interactions with the natural world.

An introduction to the field as well as a source book, The Ecocriticism Reader defines ecological literary discourse and sketches its development over the past quarter-century. The twenty-five selections in this volume, a mixture of reprinted and original essays, look backward to origins and forward to trends and provide generally appealing and lucidly written examples of the range of ecological approaches to literature. Lists of recommended readings, relevant periodicals, and professional organizations offer direction for further study.

The Ecocriticism Reader is an illuminating entree into a field of study fully engaged with our most pressing contemporary problem―the global environmental crisis.



Environmental ideas have been shaping politics and writing for many years now, and the literary critics are catching on. This wide-ranging anthology follows Wallace Stegner's notion that an environmentally based criticism should be "large and loose and suggestive and open," and it includes work from many fields, from historian Lynn White's landmark 1962 essay "The Historical Roots of Our Ecological Crisis" to literary scholar Michael McDowell's recent article "The Bakhtinian Road to Ecological Insight." Fortified by critical notes and reading lists, this collection is useful to students seeking a broad introduction to literary studies of environmental writing.


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