Manual Toward a Literary Ecology: Places and Spaces in American Literature

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These authors' alternative landscapes thus test the anthology's frame of reference and gesture beyond it to the kinds of expression it underrepresents. Such urgency is often generic in nature; whereas, given its relative "portability," poetry is easy to anthologize, anthologies are notoriously difficult environs for prose—despite Wordsworth's famous claim in the Preface to Lyrical Ballads that the most "naturally arranged" poetry does not differ from prose , and Shelley's attempt to describe all imaginative expression as poetry, in his "Defence" thereof.

In light of Romanticism's pronounced poetic achievements, the prose tracts that we read for the course bear considerable weight as foils for the anthology and representatives of a wider world, literary and otherwise. Jane Austen's Mansfield Park , for instance, dramatizes the tensions between the privileged pastime of landscape appreciation and the political reality of economic exploitation behind it in the form of the indentured labor that supports the Bertrams' comfortable way of life, and the changes in the political landscape that affect life and landscape at Mansfield.

In addition to Austen's novels—each of which offers witty social critique with respect to landscape—Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley's narrative pronouncements on her husband's extreme landscapes amplify the human dramas that occur within them. Similarly, while the narratives of Olaudah Equiano and Mary Prince have much in common with eighteenth-century generic forms that predate Romanticism, their adventures provide invaluable political and social contexts—and expose a wider world—than the anthology can only sketch.

Of course, this is to say nothing of essayists, many of whom are responsible for shaping the public perception of Romantic writing at the time although we might not realize it given how little space they garner in anthologies. That said, the course culminates with each student writing a term paper on a work or author that our anthology includes but our course reading does not.

In arguing for the inclusion of overlooked works or authors, students comment on their writers' depictions of place and on the infrastructure of the anthology not to mention that of the syllabus , ultimately "canonizing" their selections just as literary scholars reassess the canon through their own inquiries. Such an exercise is important, particularly because vast expanses of our anthology inevitably go unexplored by the end of term, and more so because the era it documents is only as relevant as students make it.

As they assess where we have been and where we may yet go, their resultant analyses explain their interest in their choices and relate them to other works we have read, so as to comparatively situate both in the Romantic canon. In making room in the canon for their selections, students learn to cultivate parallels between Romantic audiences of the past and present, to "place" Romanticism for themselves, and to be informed surveyors of literature in general.

Mandell, Linkin and Raley's Anthologies website lists literary anthologies and miscellanies that appeared during and after the Romantic era. Of course, Guillory also has much to say on this head; see especially his remarks on the formative aspects of course syllabi Cultural Capital Though we benefit from their advocacy of literary history as a means to ecological awareness, these critics often resort to positivistic generalizations about the Romantic ethos that devolve from inadequate inventories of its historical contexts, and a failure to contextualize poetry as one of many media that condition our sense of place.

Laura Sayre - Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society - LMU Munich

It rises above the road by the side of Grasmere lake, towards Keswick, and its name is Stone-Arthur" Works But if the class meets in a computer classroom, we use Tux Paint , a freeware drawing program that is designed for preschoolers but can be entertaining and instructive for adults as well. Bate, Jonathan. Romantic Ecology: Wordsworth and the Environmental Tradition. New York: Routledge, Besserman, Lawrence, ed. New York: Garland, British Women Romantic Poets, — UC-Davis General Library.

Certeau, Michel de. The Practice of Everyday Life. Steven Rendall. Di Leo, Jeffrey R. On Anthologies: Politics and Pedagogy. Lincoln: U of Nebraska P, Ferry, Anne. Stanford: Stanford UP, Oxford U. Galperin, William, and Susan Wolfson, eds. U of Maryland. Gilpin, William. London: R. Blamire, Guillory, John. Chicago: U of Chicago P, Harrison, Gary. Nineteenth-Century Contexts Hothem, Thomas. Syllabus for "Placing Romanticism. Kroeber, Karl. New York: Columbia UP, Lonsdale, Roger, ed. The Poems of Gray, Collins, and Goldsmith. Longman Annotated English Poets.

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London: Longman, Romanticism on the Net 7 August Oxford U. Manning, Peter.

Pamela Woof. Review 15 : McGann, Jerome J. New York: Oxford UP, Mellor, Anne K.

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Matlak, eds. British Literature — New York: Harcourt Brace, O'Rourke, James, ed. Perkins, David, ed. English Romantic Writers. New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, Richardson, Alan. Ross, Marlon B. Thomas Pfau and Robert F. Durham: Duke UP, Rueckert, William. Cheryll Glotfelty and Harold Fromm.

Genres of Southern Literature

Athens: U of Georgia P, Sosnoski, James J. Stewart, Susan. Wolfson, Susan. Phone a Friend? Ask the Audience? Wu, Duncan, and David Miall, eds. Oxford: Blackwell, Skip to main content. Romantic Circles has moved! It also has a new look. Find out more about our move, redesign, and plans for the future here. Surveying the Literary Landscape: The Romantic Anthology as Environment Thomas Hothem, University of California, Merced The metaphorical correspondence between land and text is such that authors regularly allegorize the acts of reading and writing by walking us over hill and dale.

Anatomizing Anthologies Because attaining this degree of perspective can be challenging—especially over the course of mere ten- to fourteen-week terms during which we tour college students through some fifty years of intensive literary production—we must find ways to extrapolate our learning to wider contexts by working closely with what we have. Approaching Romantic Anthologies Applying such a multidimensional visual perspective to the textual landscape of an anthology helps readers discern meaning in the features and form of the book, so as to set our sense of the literary climate circa and in stronger relief.

Figures in the Anthological Landscape Of course, literature in general—from the shortest of poems to the mightiest of canons—is shot through with such structurally determined referential dynamics.


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The Songs thus emphasize the equally aesthetic, personal and political nature of Romantic writing. Such multifarious literary purpose is resoundingly confirmed once we move into the intricate environs of the Visions of the Daughters of Albion , Blake's sophisticated metaphorical critique of political and personal enslavement. Confronted with such a difficult text, students often admit to feeling as confined and confused as the Visions ' hopeful protagonist, Oothoon.

Both parties feel that somewhere in the teeming linguistic landscape there must be salvation or release.

Yet Blake weaves this world together so tightly as to bind its features in place, perhaps to underscore the absurdity of sustaining such rigid chains of tradition and to criticize repressive patriarchal authority that devolves from its annals. As we learn next, such is also Mary Wollstonecraft's concern in her Thoughts on the Education of Daughters and Vindication of the Rights of Woman , which are revisionist treatises on the machinery of sexual oppression and the extent of its socio-structural influence.


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If there is room for opening the canon to an aesthetics of perception, then such democracy must also extend to the political sphere—as Wollstonecraft suggests in the Vindication 's subtle yet astute reassessment of "nature," that great focus of Romantic creative energies. She questions relatively ossified conceptions of nature that have "made a great difference between man and man"—and of course man and woman—so as to inveigh against "unnatural distinctions established in civilized life" and promote more universal "natural rights of mankind" , , Back Matter Pages About this book Introduction The contributors to Ecocriticism and Geocriticism survey the overlapping territories of these critical practices, demonstrating through their diversity of interests, as well as their range of topics, texts, periods, genres, methods, and perspectives, just how rich and varied ecocritical and geocritical approaches can be.


  1. Dangerous.
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  7. As diffuse 'schools' of criticism, ecocriticism and geocriticism represent two relatively recent discourses through which literary and cultural studies have placed renewed emphasis on the lived environment, social and natural spaces, spatiotemporality, ecology, history, and geography. These loosely defined practices have also fostered politically engaged inquiries into the ways that humans not only represent, but also organize the spaces and places in which they, their fellow humans, and many other forms of life must dwell.

    Ecology, Place, and the Metaphysics of Horror Fiction

    He then went to Kerouac, who helped him dispose of the weapon. Carr turned himself in the following morning and later pleaded guilty to manslaughter. Kerouac was charged as an accessory, and Burroughs as a material witness, but neither was prosecuted. Kerouac wrote about this incident twice in his own works: once in his first novel, The Town and the City , and again in one of his last, Vanity of Duluoz. Poet Gary Snyder was an important member of the beat movement and is widely regarded as a member of the Beat Generation circle of writers. He was one of the poets who read at the famous Six Gallery reading , and he was written about in one of Kerouac's most popular novels, The Dharma Bums.

    Neal Cassady was introduced to the group in , providing inspiration to several of the Beat authors [ citation needed ]. He became something of a muse to Ginsberg; they had a romantic affair, and Ginsberg became Cassady's personal writing-tutor. Kerouac's road trips with Cassady in the late s became the focus of his second novel, On the Road.

    Cassady's verbal style is one of the sources of the spontaneous, jazz-inspired rapping that later became associated with " beatniks ". Cassady impressed the group with the free-flowing style of his letters, and Kerouac cited them as a key influence on his spontaneous prose style. The female contemporaries of Kerouac, Ginsberg and Burroughs were intimately involved in the creation of Beat philosophy and literature, and yet remain markedly absent from the mainstream interpretation of the most important aspects and figures of the movement.