Myth and Environment in Recent Southwestern Literature
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Myth and Environment in Recent Southwestern Literature : Healing Narratives

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Description

Myth and Environment in Recent Southwestern Literature challenges readers' understanding of where the mythic Southwest and ecological consciousness meet. The book establishes conceptual connections between literature, ecocriticism, and feminist, postcolonial, and psychoanalytic theory to recover the creative imagination in redemptive figurations of the Southwest that may help foster environmental responsibility.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 142 pages
  • 154.94 x 231.14 x 17.78mm | 362.87g
  • Lexington Books
  • Lanham, MD, United States
  • English
  • 0739184954
  • 9780739184950

Review quote

[This book is] an engaging exploration of the complexly interwoven space shared by growing populations and their Southwestern desert homes. thespectrum.com One reads this book with real profit. Wrede reveals altogether new ways to read fictions-by Kingsolver, Silko, Cormac McCarthy, Denise Chavez-set in the American Southwest. She thinks with great originality about texts that remain, to criticism, unlicked bear cubs, as well as texts that have been subjected to rather a lot of prior academic attention. I thought I knew all the angles on Silko and Cormac McCarthy, but I have learned otherwise in these pages. Part of what makes this study so impressive is the theoretical sophistication that Wrede brings to it-she is as at home with feminist and psychoanalytic thinking as with the eco-criticism and 'ecological mythopoeia' that she foregrounds. -- David Cowart, author of Thomas Pynchon and the Dark Passages of History and Trailing Clouds: Immigrant Fiction in Contemporary America Theda Wrede's work is a fine overview of the many tribes of New Western literary criticism and a solid contribution to the growing critical discussion of the politics of space. Her scholarly acuity is directed at four classic novels of late 20th century Western literature by McCarthy, Kingsolver, Silko and Chavez. The psychic dislocations she elucidates in each work stem from the Western myth of conquest of the land, the female, the native. Respect for the land, a sense of place, she finds, is the foundation for equitable cultural identity and psychic health. In native, chicana, and white female communities, she finds healing models for human-nature relationships. Wrede has her finger on the rootlessness of American culture and offers hopeful paradigms for a new century of eco-consciousness. -- Marcia Clouser, Ursinus College Teachers and students of literature, and indeed anyone who cares about a place and a community, will welcome Theda Wrede's graceful and informative study of writings from the American Southwest. Combining literary criticism and ecopsychology, Wrede shows how a diversity of writers, including Chicana and Native American, have confronted the trauma of cultural loss and environmental degradation by imagining alternative narratives of hope and healing. -- Laura Dassow Walls, William P. and Hazel B. White Professor of English, University of Notre Dameshow more

About Theda Wrede

Theda Wrede is associate professor at Dixie State University.show more

Table of contents

Contents Acknowledgments Introduction Chapter One: The Myth and Contemporary Reappraisals of the Southwest Chapter Two: Renewal and Regression in Cormac McCarthy's Western All the Pretty Horses Chapter Three: Barbara Kingsolver's Animal Dreams: Ecofeminist Subversion of Western Myth Chapter Four: "It's a Matter of Transitions": Nature, Self, and Community in Leslie Marmon Silko's Ceremony Chapter Five: Liminality in Denise Chavez's The Last of the Menu Girls: Mapping Female Landscapes on the Border Conclusion Works Cited Index About the authorshow more