Wild abandon : American literature and the identity politics of ecology / Alexander Menrisky.

Menrisky, Alexander [Browse]
Cambridge : Cambridge University Press, 2021.
1 online resource (viii, 254 pages)


Cambridge studies in American literature and culture ; 185. [More in this series]
Summary note
The American wilderness narrative, which divides nature from culture, has remained remarkably persistent despite the rise of ecological science, which emphasizes interconnection between these spheres. Wild Abandon considers how ecology's interaction with radical politics of authenticity in the twentieth century has kept that narrative alive in altered form. As ecology gained political momentum in the 1960s and 1970s, many environmentalists combined it with ideas borrowed from psychoanalysis and a variety of identity-based social movements. The result was an identity politics of ecology that framed ecology itself as an authentic identity position repressed by cultural forms, including social differences and even selfhood. Through readings of texts by Edward Abbey, Simon Ortiz, Toni Morrison, Margaret Atwood, and Jon Krakauer, among others, Alexander Menrisky argues that writers have both dramatized and critiqued this tendency, in the process undermining the concept of authenticity altogether and granting insight into alternative histories of identity and environment.
Title from publisher's bibliographic system (viewed on 14 Dec 2020).
  • Modern environmentalism's identity politics. Ecological authenticity and the wilderness narrative
  • The uses of dissolution
  • A literary history of environmentalist identity politics
  • The ecological alternative : civilization, selfhood, and environment in the 1960s. Selfhood and civilization : the new left and beyond
  • The (in)authentic anarchist : the self in postwar environmental writing
  • The spontaneous society : ecology and the politics of self-liberation --"Feeling like a river" : Edward Abbey's subjective uncertainty
  • Social ecology and psychoanalytic vocabulary
  • The superficial self
  • The entheogenic landscape: psychedelic primitives, ecological Indians, and the American counterculture. The countercultural psyche
  • Peter Matthiessen's psychedelics of water, wind, and stone
  • "The hallucinogenic oceans of the mind" from east to west
  • Psychedelic primitivism's presymbolic myth
  • Simon Ortiz, oral tradition, and environmental justice
  • Narrative, self, and environment
  • The universal wilderness : race, cultural nationalism, and an identity politics for the state of nature. The new universalism : environmentalism beyond natural rights
  • Cultural nationalism and racial authenticity
  • Racial particularity and ecological authenticity : a reflective stalemate
  • Toni Morrison's skeptical state of nature : race, gender, and wilderness
  • An admission of fabrication
  • A brief comment on community and environment
  • The essential ecosystem : reproduction, network, and biological reduction. Surfacing's identity crises : gender and nature in the 1970s
  • Depth and nature feminism
  • "The first true human" : narcissistic fantasy and material complexity
  • Depth and network
  • New materialisms, old narratives
  • An appeal to obliteration
  • The death of the supertramp : psychoanalytic narratives and American wilderness. Characterizing Chris McCandless
  • Depth and deep ecology
  • The ascetic superhero's boast
  • Into the wild's Freudian narrative
  • Fatal dissolutions
  • The neoliberal wilderness
  • Ecological consistency.
9781108909952 (ebook)
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