Reference : US (Post-)Pastoral Non-Fiction and the Toxic Sublime
Scientific congresses and symposiums : Unpublished conference/Abstract
Arts & humanities : Multidisciplinary, general & others
Arts & humanities : Philosophy & ethics
Arts & humanities : Literature
US (Post-)Pastoral Non-Fiction and the Toxic Sublime
Lombard, David mailto [Université de Liège - ULiège > > > Master lang. & lettres mod, or. gén., à fin. (AF)]
New Perspectives in English and American Studies
du 20 avril 2017 au 22 avril 2017
Jagiellonian University, Institute of English Studies
[en] American literature ; toxic sublime ; pastoral
[en] As Frank O’Hara mentions, “[i]n past times there was nature and there was human nature; because of the ferocity of modern life, man and nature have become one” (1971). However, this statement is wrong as nature has, in fact, never been ‘neutral’, independent of human influence but has instead always been depicted and defined by humans. In the age of the Anthropocene, numerous are the ways of reconsidering our relationship with our physical environment and reframing the pastoral mode so that it would best illustrate the interconnectedness between the human and the non-human. For example, Joshua Corey recently proposed an analysis of “postmodern pastoral poetry” in order to “enter this [very] zone of the pastoral”, meaning “the vision of humanity undivided from nature” (2012). Nevertheless, Corey is himself with several other famous literary critics, or more specifically ecocritics, “part of this [ ] movement that seeks to define a pastoral that has avoided the traps of idealisation [or pastoral sentimentalism] in seeking a discourse that can both celebrate and take some responsibility for nature without false consciousness” or, in other words, a more ecocentric repossession of pastoral that Terry Gifford defines as “post-pastoral”. In this paper, my purpose is to analyse US post-pastoral non-fiction, mainly memoirs and essays that include a pastoral retreat in the natural landscape, to demonstrate the importance of relating humans to the natural landscape but also to the technological and toxic landscapes. In order to do so, I intend to use the concept of the toxic sublime and to revalue it as a new perspective in the study of the relationship between American literature and our physical environment.
Centre Interdisciplinaire de Poétique Appliquée (CIPA)
Researchers ; Professionals ; Students

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