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Manchester University Press

Greenery: Ecocritical Readings of Late Medieval English Literature

Greenery: Ecocritical Readings of Late Medieval English Literature

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Humankind has always been fascinated by the world in which it finds itself, and puzzled by its relations to it. Today that fascination is often expressed in what is now called 'green' terms, reflecting concerns about the non-human natural world, puzzlement about the way in which we relate to it, and anxiety about what we, as humans, are doing to it. Literature is often a medium for expressing these reactions and ecocriticism its most appropriate critical mode. Drawing on current political and socio-economical concerns, such 'green criticism' acknowledges that attempts to understand our often conflicting reactions to the natural world reveal something about ourselves and perhaps also lift us out of ourselves. Such combinations of reaction are also to be found within late medieval English literature and it is these which form the focus of this book. Greenery offers new readings of middle English texts, both familiar and less familiar, which are informed by ecocriticism. After considering general issues pertaining to green criticism, Greenery moves on to a series of individual chapters arranged by theme (earth, trees, wilds, sea, gardens and fields) which provide individual close readings of selections from such familiar texts as Malory's Morte D'Arthur, Chaucer's Knight's and Franklin's Tales, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight and Langland's Piers Plowman. These discussions are contextualized by considering them alongside hitherto marginalized texts such as lyrics, Patience and the romance Sir Orfeo. The result is a study which reinvigorates our customary reading of late middle English literary texts while also allows us to reflect upon the vibrant new school of ecocriticism itself.

Author: Gillian Rudd
Publisher: Manchester University Press
Published: 11/04/2010
Pages: 232
Binding Type: Paperback
Weight: 0.60lbs
Size: 8.50h x 5.50w x 0.48d
ISBN: 9780719072499

About the Author

Gillian Rudd is Senior Lecturer in English at the University of Liverpool

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