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University of Georgia Press

Thoreauvian Modernities: Transatlantic Conversations on an American Icon

Thoreauvian Modernities: Transatlantic Conversations on an American Icon

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Does Thoreau belong to the past or to the future? Instead of canonizing him as a celebrant of "pure" nature apart from the corruption of civilization, the essays in Thoreauvian Modernities reveal edgier facets of his work--how Thoreau is able to unsettle as well as inspire and how he is able to focus on both the timeless and the timely. Contributors from the United States and Europe explore Thoreau's modernity and give a much-needed reassessment of his work in a global context.

The first of three sections, "Thoreau and (Non)Modernity," views Thoreau as a social thinker who set himself against the "modern" currents of his day even while contributing to the emergence of a new era. By questioning the place of humans in the social, economic, natural, and metaphysical order, he ushered in a rethinking of humanity's role in the natural world that nurtured the environmental movement. The second section, "Thoreau and Philosophy," examines Thoreau's writings in light of the philosophy of his time as well as current philosophical debates. Section three, "Thoreau, Language, and the Wild," centers on his relationship to wild nature in its philosophical, scientific, linguistic, and literary dimensions. Together, these sixteen essays reveal Thoreau's relevance to a number of fields, including science, philosophy, aesthetics, environmental ethics, political science, and animal studies.

Thoreauvian Modernities posits that it is the germinating power of Thoreau's thought--the challenge it poses to our own thinking and its capacity to address pressing issues in a new way--that defines his enduring relevance and his modernity.

Contributors: Kristen Case, Randall Conrad, David Dowling, Michel Granger, Michel Imbert, Michael Jonik, Christian Maul, Bruno Monfort, Henrik Otterberg, Tom Pughe, David M. Robinson, William Rossi, Dieter Schulz, Fran ois Specq, Joseph Urbas, Laura Dassow Walls.

Author: Bruno Monfort
Publisher: University of Georgia Press
Published: 02/01/2013
Pages: 296
Binding Type: Paperback
Weight: 0.88lbs
Size: 8.90h x 6.00w x 1.00d
ISBN: 9780820344294

About the Author
François Specq (Editor)
FRANÇOIS SPECQ is a professor of American literature and culture at the Ecole Normale Supérieure de Lyon-Université de Lyon/CNRS.

Laura Dassow Walls (Editor)
LAURA DASSOW WALLS is William P. and Hazel B. White Professor of English at the University of Notre Dame.

Michel Granger (Editor)
MICHEL GRANGER is a professor of American literature and culture at the Université de Lyon/CNRS.

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