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In the American Grain? Nature, Postmodernism, and William H. Gass

March-Russell, Paul (2017) In the American Grain? Nature, Postmodernism, and William H. Gass. Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and Environment, 24 (3). pp. 514-528. ISSN 1076-0962. E-ISSN 1759-1090. (doi:10.1093/isle/isx039) (KAR id:62533)

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William H. Gass has repeatedly rejected literature’s mimetic function in favour of a seemingly endless series of language games. Such a stance would seem to render his fiction antithetical to the concerns of eco-criticism. However, in concentrating upon the collection In the Heart of the Heart of the Country (1968), this article positions Gass within an earlier phase of postmodern aesthetics alongside the ‘open-field’ poetics of near-contemporaries such as Charles Olson. As a consequence, it is possible to locate Gass’s linguistic skepticism within the Emersonian tradition and, in particular, with the environmental concerns that underline Henry David Thoreau’s Walden (1854).

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1093/isle/isx039
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PS American literature
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Arts and Humanities > School of European Culture and Languages
Depositing User: Paul March-Russell
Date Deposited: 02 Aug 2017 23:15 UTC
Last Modified: 16 Feb 2021 13:47 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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