Cheryll_Glotfelty_Harold_Fromm_The_Ecocriticism.pdf - The Ecocriticism Reader Bffi LANDMARKS IN LITERARY ECOLOGY Edited by Cheryll Glotfelty and Harold

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Unformatted text preview: The Ecocriticism Reader Bffi LANDMARKS IN LITERARY ECOLOGY Edited by Cheryll Glotfelty and Harold Fromm I THE UNIVERSITY OF GEORGIA PRESS I ATHENS AND LONDON I @ t996 by the University of Georgia Press Athens, Georgia lo6oz "Some Principles of Ecocriticism" @ tggS by \Tilliam Howarth "The Carrier Bag Theory of Fiction" @ 1986 by Ursula K. Le Guin All rights CONTENTS Itr reserved Designed by Kathi Dailey Morgan Set in Sabon and Gills Sans by Tseng Information Systems, Inc. This book is printed on recycled PaPer that meets the guidelines for permanence and durability of the Committee on Production Guidelines for Book Longevity of the Council on Library Resources. Preface ix Acknowledgments xi Printed in the United States of America 96 OL xv Introduction: Literary Studies in an Age of Environmental Crisis 979899ooc543z, oJ040506P8765 CHERYLL GLOTFELTY Library of Congress Cataloging in Publication Data The ecocriticism reader : landmarks in literary ecology Cheryll Glotfelty, ed., Harold Fromm, ed. P. cm. Includes bibliographical references and index. f rssN o-82o3-r78o-z (alk. paper). - lsrN o-82o3-r78r-o (pbk. : alk. paper) r. Criticism. z. Ecology in literature. 3. Nature in literature. I. Glotfelty, Cheryll. II. Fromm, Harold. nN8r.Ez4 8or'95-dczo 1996 95-1i-150 pARr oNE Ecotheory: Reflections on Nature and Culture 3 The Historical Roots of Our Ecologic Crisis LYNN WHITE, JR. r5 Nature and Silence CHRISTOPHER MANES British Library Cataloging in Publication Data available Text illustrations by Susan Nees 30 From Transcendence to Obsolescence: A Route HAROLD FROMM 4o Cultivating the American Garden FREDERICK TURNER Mrp Yi I CONTENTS CONTENTS . vii 52 170 The Uses of Landscape: The Picturesque Aesthetic and the National Park System ALISON BYERLY Unearthing Herstory: An Introduction ANNETTE KOLODNY , 69 " Tl'J :; Tf '"': i::'; :.''," x8z Speaking a Word for Nature SCOTT RUSSELL SANDERS rg6 92 Beyond Ecology: Self, Place, and the Pathetic Fallacy NEIL EVERNDEN The Postnatural Novel: Toxic Consciousness in Fiction of the rggos r05 Is Nature Necessary? Literature and Ecology: An Experiment in Ecocriticism WTLLIAM RUECKERT DANA PHILLIPS CYNTHIA DEITERING 2o4 pARr rHREE critical Studies of Environmental Literature 124 The Land and Language of Desire: !7here Deep Ecology and Post-Structuralism Meet 225 SUEELLEN CAMPBELL Revaluing Nature: Toward an Ecological Criticism GLEN A. LOVE 47 American Liter ary Environmental ism as Dome stic DAVTD MAZEL pARr rwo O rientalism Ecocritical Considerations of Fiction and Drama 24r The Sacred Hoop: A Contemporary perspective PAULA GUNN ALLEN 264 Landscape, History, and the Pueblo Imagination LESLIE MARMON SILKO The Carri., r"gtfheory of Fiction URSULA K. LE GUIN 276 r55 A Taxonomy of Nature'S7riting THOMAS J. LYON The Comic Mode JOSEPH W. MEEKER z8z Indexing American Possibilities: The Natural History rilTriting of Bartram,'Wilson, and Audubon M I(;llAI..1. l]RANCII Yiii I CONTENTS 303 Desertsolitaire:Counter-FrictiontotheMachineintheGarden DON SCHEESE PREFACE rrl 3L3 to the American Landscape Heroines of Nature: Four \romen Respond VERA L. NORWOOD 35L Nature Writing and Environmental Psychology: The Interiority of Outdoor Experience SCOTT SLOVIC 37r The Bakhtinian Road to Ecological Insight MICHAEL J. MCDOWELL RecommendedReading 393 periodicals and Professional Organizations 4or Contributors 4oj Index 4o9 One day late in the r98os an unsolicited packet arrived in the mail that *r, ,rii.ally to alter my professional life as a literary scholar-critic and to have repercussions in my private life as well. The contents consisted of a form i.tt., and bibliography from a Cornell graduate student in English named Cheryll Burgess. She was finishing up a dissertation on three American women writers, but her most intense interest seemed to be the anything-but-apparent connection between literature and the environment. Her pl""s were ambitious, not to say grandiose: to Pursue an interest in .cology while remaining a literary professional, to promulgate the concePtion of "ecocriticism" while producing an anthology of ecocritical essays, and formally to become the first American professor of literature and the environment. The bibliography contained more than two hundred essays and books that bore some relation to the idea of ecocriticism, but even more useful was the potential mailing list it provided of authors who might be of some assistance in producing the ecocritical anthology.'til(riting to most of them, Cheryll Burgess described her aims, included a coPy of the bibliography, and waited for replies-which soon began to Pour in. One result of this large-scale operatircn was that I found myself agreeing to serve as chief as,irlnt, although not without some unease that with most of the hard and creative work already done I would emerge in the role of an unearned beneficiary of someone else's groundbreaking labors. Although I have helped t, make some decisions and discovered a number of essays to include, this preface gives me the opportunity to disclaim maior status. As tlrilgs turned out, much more than Cheryll Burgess Glotfelty's origiIr:rl rtinrs lrrtvc becrt realiz.cd. She has in fact promulgated an awareness lx PREFACE of ecocriticism (a term often credited to the essay we have included by 'STilliam H. Rueckert), she has produced her anthology, and (believe it or not) she has indeed become, as far as we know, the first academic whose appointment includes "literature and the environment" in its title. Furthermore, my own ecological consciousness, which was very great to start h^ b..r, raised L.yo.d anything I could have imagined, because the ACKNOWLEDGMENTS IIT with, present enterprise changed the direction of my Personal and professional iir., by fusing together what had previously been disparate and unrelated activities in literature and in ecology. Professor Glotfelty's substantial has influence in the ecological/nature-writing wing of American Studies conmany her well-through as people touched a large number of other Fired ference papers, networking activities, and the original bibliography' ecocriticism on by her d.di."tion, I organized andchaired the first session to be offered at the Modern Language Association convention (in r99t), a remarkably well-attended event, at which we discovered the large number ecocritics that we knew nothing about, many of them starved of practicing for colleagues. In all, i"- h"ppy to own up to my pleasure and my debt in having been a part of this fertile enterprise Harold Fromm A researcher friend in physics once said that if you want to know how long it will take to complete a project, you must multiply the time you think it will take by rwo and then raise the answer to the next higher order of magnitude. One indication that the so-called gap berween the sciences and the humanities is indeed bridgeable is that the formula that describes experimental physics also obtained in editing this anthology, which has taken not three months but six years to produce. As the years have stretched on, the number of people who have offered help and encouragement has increased exponentially. It is a privilege to thank them here and to acknowledge our indebtedness for their friendship, advice, and support. For early belief in this book and for their steadfast backing, we owe a great deal to Jean Frantz Blackall, IilTilliam Howarth, and Glen Love. A four-year Jacob Javits fellowship allowed Cheryll to begin this book while still in graduate school. For their enthusiasm and generosity we would like to thank each of the contributing authors and, in addition, James Applewhite, Lawrence Buell, Del Ivan Janik, Leo Marx, ames C. McKusick, Patrick D. Murphy,Val Plumwood, Ann Ronald, Peter .f Schwenger, Patricia Clark Smith, Denys Trussell, and Frederick'Waage. For their assistance in compiling the list of recommended reading, "virtual" thanks goes to members of the e-mail network for the Association firr the Study of Literature and Environment, most especially to Stephen Aclams, Karla Armbruster, Jonathan Bate, Ruth Blair, Michael Branch, Lawrence Buell, SueEllen Campbell, Tom Dean, Jim Dwyer, Sara Farris, .f lrarr Hochman, Mary.fenkins, Michael Kowalewski, Glen Love, Ralph l,rrtts, I)an Nolantl, Serrn ()'Orirdy, Daniel Patterson, Steve Phelan, Daniel l)hilipporr, l)i;lnc ()rrrrrtic, lrliz.rrbcth llaymond, Stephanie Sarver, Tom xii I ACKNOWLEDGMENTS Scanlan, Jim Stebbings, Philip Terrie, Paul Tidwell, H. Lewis Ulman, Kathleen'V7allace, Louise'Westling, and David \Tilliams. The members of the Association for the Study of Literature and Environment have given us a welcome sense of community, leavening the work with a good deal of fun. Best wishes to Lorraine Anderson, Ralph Black, Paul Bryant, Lawrence Buell, SueEllen Campbell, Carol Cantrell, John Calderazzo, Michael P. and Valerie Cohen, Chris Cokinos, Nancy Cook, Terrell Dixon, Elizabeth Dodd, Jim Dwyer, john Elder, Greta Gaard, Michael Hood, \Tilliam Howarth, Mark Hoyer, Verne Huser, Zita Ingham, Rochelle Johnson, Glen Love, Tom Lyon, Ian Marshall, Thomas Meyers, David Morris, Michael Munley, Molly Murfee, Patrick Murphy, Alicia Nitecki, Daniel Patterson, Daniel Philippon, Anne Phillips, Michele Potter, Lawie Ricou, David Robertson, Ann Ronald, Susan Rosowski, Suzanne Ross, Kent Ryden, Don Scheese, Mark Schlenz, Matthias Schubnell, Julie Seton, Gary Snyder, Lisa Spaulding, Ron Steffens, Tom Stuckert, Stan Tag, David Taylor, David Teague, Mikel Vause, Allison'Wallace, and Louise Westling. Special praise and affection go to Mike Branch, Sean O'Grady, and Scott Slovic. At the University of Nevada, Reno, Cheryll would like to thank her colleagues for their friendship and support. Stacy Burton and Mary Webb have been particularly wonderful. Sincere thanks are due to Dean of Arts and Sciences Ann Ronald for bold vision and for making things happen, to Robert Merrill for his editorial acumen and dedication to the English Department he chairs, and to secretaries Linda Gorelangton and Geri McVeigh, who make otrr academic lives not only possible but pleasant. Cheryll would like to acknowledge the students in her Spring r99r graduate seminar, "Ecocriticism: Literary Criticism and Ecological Consciousness," as well as the graduate students she currently advises, all of whom bring her great intellectual treasures. Finally, we send love to our family and friends, who make life a ioy. Loren, Evelyn, and Stan Acton, Eileen Pape, Laura Koeninger, Gretchen Diether, and Elizabeth Doherty-warmest thanks to you all. Gloria Fromm and Steve Glotfehy, you are always in our hearts and in our lives. r r r Jhs authors and the Press gratefully acknowledge permission to reprint the following pieces: Paula Gunn Allen, "The Sacred Hoop: A Contemporary Perspective." Fr<tm Thc Sacred Hoop: Recouering the Peminine in American Indian T'raditirttr.s by l)aula ACKNOWLEDGMENTS r xiii Gunn Allen. @ ry86, ry92 by Paula Gunn Allen. Reprinted by permission of Beacon Press. SueEllen campbell, "The Land and Language of Desire: '$7here Deep Ecology and Post-Structuralism Meet." From 'Western American Literature 24.3 (November ry89): r99-zn. Reprinted by permission of 'Western American Literature and the author. oynthia Deitering, "The Postnatural Novel: Toxic Consciousness in Fiction of the r98os." From Praxis 4 $992): 2916. Reprinted by permission of praxis and the author. Neil Evernden, "Beyond Ecology: Self, place, and the pathetic Fallacy.,,From North American Reuiew 263.4 (Winter ry78): 16-zo. Reprinted by permission of North American Reuiew and the author. I larold Fromm, "From Transcendence to obsolescence: A Route Mrp.,' From the Georgia Reuiew 3z (Fallry78): s43-sz. Reprinted by permission of the Georgia lleuiew and the author. Annctte Kolodny, "Unearthing Herstory: An Introduction,, and excerpts from "Making it with Paradise: The Twentieth Century, Some Thoughts for Our Biccrrtennial." From The Lay of the Land: Metaphor as Experience and History in American Life and Letters by Annette Kolodny. @ ryg4 by the universiry of North Carolina Press. Reprinted by permission of the Universiry of North Carolinu Press and the author. K. Le Guin, "The Carrier Bag Theory of Fiction." From Dancing at the Edge tl thc V/orld: Thoughts on Words,.Women, places. @ ryg6 by Ursula K. Le Guin. l(t'printed by permission of Grove/Atlantic, Inc. ( .Western 'lt'tr A. I-ove, "Revaluing Nature: Toward an Ecological Criticism." From /ltntrican Literature 25.3 (November ry9o):2or-r5. Reprinted by permission of Wr'stcrn American Literature and the author. I l rr rr r rrrs .f . Lyon, "A Taxonomy of Nature rJfriting." From This Incomperable Lande : rl lilxtk of American Nature 'writing edited by Thomas J. Lyon. @ ryg9 by 'l'lr.rrurs .f . Lyon. Reprinted by permission of Houghton Mifflin Company. ( lrr istrrlrhcr Manes, "Nature and Silence." From Enuironmental Ethicsi4 I lrsrrlrr t')')r): 319-5o.Reprinted ffiinter by permission of Enuironmental Ethics and the author. , rsr'1rlr w. Meeker, "The comic Mode." From f The comedy of suruiual: studies in Ltt(rdry l;,cology by Joseph'!7. Meeker. New york: Scribner,s, 197.-. @ 1972, | ()'' i, r 97 4 by.].seph \ff. Meeker. Reprinted by permission of the author. Vt'r.r l . Norwood, "Hert)ines of Nature: Four'Women Respond to the American I .rrrtlst:rPt'." lrr..r l;.nuironmental Reuiew g.r (Spring ryg4): 34-56. @ ryg4by lltc Arrrt'r'it'rttt Socicty for linvironmental History. Reprinted by permission of I n tttt ttntttt,tttd lltt,ictt,. l),rrr,r l'lrrlliPs, "ls Nrrrrrrt'Nt'ct.ssrrry?" lrrorn Raritan r j.j (winterrg%)[email protected] ryyby litn,ttnt,lr Mrrrt'St., Nr.w llrrnrswick, Nt.w.ft'rscy, ollgoJ. Ileprintccl by permis- ',trrtt rrl litlt tltltt. xiv r ACKNOWLEDGMENTS CHERYLL GLOTFELTY From William Rueckert, "Literature and Ecology: An Experiment in Ecocriticism." lowa the of by permission the lowa Reuiew g.r (\winte r ry78)z 7v86. Reprinted Reuiew and the author. lntroduction the Uni' Scott Russell Sanders, "speaking a'Word for Nature." From Secrets of by Reprinted Sanders. Russell uerse by Scott Russell Sanders . @ ry9r by Scott permission of Beacon Press. Don Schee se, "Desert Solitaire: Counter-Friction to the Machine in the Garden'" From North Dakota Quarterly 59.2 (Springrygt)z zI1.-27. Reprinted by permis- IIT LITERARY STUDIES IN AN AGE OF ENVIRONMENTAL CRISIS sion of North Dakota Quarterly and the author' From Leslie Marmon Silko, "Landscape, History, and the Pueblo Imagination." Reprinted Silko' Marmon Leslie by 1986 Antaeus 57 (Autumn 1986): [email protected] by permission of the author, her agent Sara Chalsant, and Wylie, Aitken and Stone Incorporated. of Scott Slovic, "Nature'Writing and Environmental Psychology: The Interiority in Awareness to Seeking introduction the from Adapted Outdoor Experience." Abbey,'Wen' Edward Dillard, Annie Tboreau, Henry American Nature Writing: dell Berry, and Barry Lopez. @ r99z by the University of Utah Press' Used by permission of the University of Utah Press' Value: Frederick Turner, "Cultivating the American Garden." From Rebirth of Turner. @ Frederick by Education and Religion, Ecology, Beauty, Meditations on State the of by permission Reprinted York. New of University ry9r by the State University of New York Press. Lynn l;/hite, Jr., "The Historical Roots of our Ecologic crisis." From science of the 155.3767 (ro March ry6): rzoS-7. o AAAS. Reprinted by permission American Association for the Advancement of Science' I rtt'r'rrry studies in our postmodern age exist in a state of constant flux. l;r,t'r'/ few years, it seems, the profession of English must "redraw the lxrrrrrrlirries" to "remap" the rapidly changing contours of the field. One ('nt, authoritative guide to contemporary literary studies contains a full t\\/('nty-one essays on different methodological or theoretical approaches r ('( t, r t riticism. Its introduction observes: I rtt'rrrry studies in English are in a period of rapid and sometimes disori.rrring change. . . . Just as none of the critical approaches that antedate this pcriorl, from psychological and Marxist criticism to reader-response theory .rrr.l c'rrltural criticism, has remained stable, so none of the historical fields .rrr,l srrbficlds that constitute English and American literary studies has been It'lt rrrrtouched by revisionist energies. . . . [The essays in this volume] dis. k rst' solne of those places where scholarship has responded to contemporary pr r.rstrrcs.l ( .rrriorrsly enough, in this putatively comprehensive volume on the state ,,1 t lrr' profcssion, there is no essay on an ecological approach to literature. ;\ltlrorrglr scholarship claims to have "responded to contemporary pres..urcs," it h:rs apparently ignored the most pressing contemporary issue of ,rll, rr.rrrrt'ly, tlrc gl<lbal environmental crisis. The absence of any sign of .ur ('nvrr'ortrtrcntrtl pcrspective in contemporary literary studies would seem Ir' \ul,,l',r'st tlrrrt rlcspitc its "revisionist energies," scholarship remains acatlt'nut rn t ltt' s('ns(' o[ "scltol:trly to tlrc poirrt of being unaware of the outside rt',,r l.l" lrltrrr,r'tt tttt I lrrtltlit' l)ictirnrury). INTRODUCTION I xvii xvi T CHERYLL GLOTFELTY If your knowledge of the outside world were limited to what you could infer from the mapr publications of the literary profession, you would late quickly discern that race, class, and gender were the hot topics of the twentieth century, but you would never susPect that the earth's life support there was systems were under stress. Indeed, you might never know that of an earth at all. In contrast, if you were to scan the newspaper headlines the same period, you would learn of oil spills, lead and asbestos poisoning, toxic waste contamination, extinction of species at an unPrecedented ,^t", b^ttles over public land use, Protests over nuclear waste dumps, a rain, growing hole in thie ozone layer,predictions of global warming, acid iors of lopsoil, destruction of the tropical rain forest, controversy over Park, the Spotted Owl in the Pacific Northwest' a wildfire in Yellowstone medical syringes washing onto the shores of Atlantic beaches, boycotts 'west, illegal dumping in the a on tuna, overrapped aquifers in the -East, famnuclear reactor dir"rt.r-in Chernobyl, new auto emissions standards, on ines, droughts, floods, hurricanes, a United Nations special conference "the r99os the declaring president environment and development, a u.s. five bildecade of the environm.-rr,," and a world population that topped Time r989 lion. Browsing through periodicals, you would discover that rn magazine's person of1n. year award went to "The Endangered Earth'" In view of ,h. discrepancy between current events and the PreoccuPa- retions of the literary prolession, the claim that literary scholarship has very Until sponded to contemporary Pressures becomes difficult to defend' ,...rrtly there h", L..n no sign that the institution of literary studies has have been even been aware of the environmental crisis. For instance, there no journals, no jargon, no jobs, no professional societies or discussion regroupr, and no .orrf.r.r.es on literature and the environment''\ilflhile and Iated humanities disciplines, like histor/, philosophy, law, sociology, religion have been "gieeni.rg" since the r97os, literary studies have apprrl.rtly remained ,rrr1i.,t.d by .n ri.onmental concerns' And while social liberation movements of the -ou.r*.rts, like the civil rights and women's sixties and seventies, have transformed literary studies, it would aPpear that the environmental movement of the same era has had little impact' dates But appearances can be deceiving. In actual factras the publication literary individual substantiate, fo, ,o*. of the essays in this anthology criticism and cultural scholars have been developing ecologically informed cottsins and theory since the seventies; however, unlike their disciplinary previously, they did not organiz.e the...
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