This text grounds environmental literature firmly in the life sciences, particularly evolutionary biology. It attempts to bridge the ever-widening gulf between the "Two Cultures". Glen Love - a founder of ecocriticism - argues that literary studies has been diminshed by a general lack of recognition for the vital role that the biological foundation of human life plays in cultural imagination. He presents with clarity and directness a model for how to incorporate Darwinian ideas - the basis for all modern biology and ecology - into ecocritical thinking. Beginning with an overview of the field of literature and environment and its claim to our attention and arguing for a biologically informed theoretical base for literary studies, Love then aims the lens of this critical perspective on the pastoral genre and works by canonical writers such as Willa Cather, Ernet Hemingway and William Dean Howells. This interdisciplinary work should be of interest to the entire ecocritical community, as well as humanists, social scientists and others concerned with the rediscovery of human nature.
Publisher: University of Virginia Press