Concepts & Examples Practice Texts Issues & Discussion Relevant Links Bibliographies
Texts & Examples:
Classical Texts of nature writing:
Henry David Thoreau -- "Walden";
Aldo Leopold -- "A Sand County Almanac";
Annie Dillard -- "Pilgrim at Tinker Creek."
Rachel Carson --"The Sea Around Us," a gracefully written exposition of all that was known about the ocean environment in her time.
Edward Abbey, who wrote of western U. S. environmental issues with passion and style.
Work Re-Interpreted from Ecocritical Perspectives:
-- The poet Robert Frost, whose literature is grounded in the New England landscape; (Ref. Grant)
-- Bate . . . rereads Byron's apocalyptic poem 'Darkness' (1861), together with Keats's idyllic ode 'To Autumn' (1819), against meteorological records for the places and time periods in which these texts were written. Pitting himself against the literary critical convention of reading apocalyptic writing such as Byron's either intertextually, with reference to other apocalyptic writing, or as a product of imagination bearing a largely metaphoric relation to the world beyond the page, Bate explores what happens if Byron's image of a darkened earth is taken literally. This leads him to the discovery that the highly inclement weather conditions described by Byron in his letters of the time, and confirmed by the meterological records, can be traced to the eruption in 1815 of the Tambora volcano in Indonesia. This huge eruption caused an estimated 80,000 deaths locally, and lowered global temperatures for three years, leading to failed harvests, food riots and increased respiratory problems as far away as Europe. . . .Read in this meterological context, 'To Autumn' also appears in a different light. Keats's pastoral idyll was written in the autumn following the first good summer since 1815, at a time when clear air and warm weather was especially important to its consumptive author. Far from being an escapist fantasy, this is in Bate's view a valuable 'meditation on how human culture can only function through links and reciprocal relations with nature.' (1996: 440)
Other Possible Texts:
Gerard Manley Hopkins's poem "Pied Beauty"