Ecocriticism and Nineteenth-Century Literature Criticism: Overviews - Essay

Karl Kroeber (essay date 1994)

(Nineteenth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: Kroeber, Karl. “Feminism and the Historicity of Science.” In Ecological Literary Criticism: Romantic Imagining and the Biology of Mind, pp. 22‐36. New York: Columbia University Press, 1994.

[In the following essay, Kroeber stresses the importance of an interdisciplinary approach to an ecologically oriented literary criticism, noting especially the need for an understanding of scientific ecology.]

In calling for an ecologically oriented criticism I appeal to intensified awareness of the historicity of all our intellectual disciplines. It would seem banal so to appeal, but that Cold War critics, even new historicists, have paid minimal attention to the...

(The entire section is 6062 words.)

Scott Russell Sanders (essay date 1996)

(Nineteenth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: Sanders, Scott Russell. “Speaking a Word for Nature.” In The Ecocriticism Reader: Landmarks in Literary Ecology, edited by Cheryll Glotfelty and Harold Fromm, pp. 182‐95. Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1996.

[In the following essay, Sanders laments that recent American fiction does not turn outward to acknowledge nature.]

Why is so much recent American fiction so barren? Putting the question more honestly, why do I find myself reading fewer contemporary novels and stories each year, and why do I so often feel that the work most celebrated by literary mavens (both avant‐garde and establishment) is the shallowest? What is missing? Clearly there is...

(The entire section is 4278 words.)

David Mazel (essay date 2001)

(Nineteenth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: Mazel, David. Introduction to A Century of Early Ecocriticism, edited by David Mazel, pp. 1‐17. Athens: University of Georgia Press, 2001.

[In the following excerpt, Mazel traces the history of ecocriticism, discussing twentieth‐century critics' unearthing of environmental concerns in literature and focusing especially on their reading of nineteenth‐century American writing.]

That which was unconscious truth, becomes, when interpreted and defined in an object, a part of the domain of knowledge,—a new weapon in the magazine of power.

—Ralph Waldo Emerson, Nature


(The entire section is 4067 words.)