Thoreau's Nature: Ethics, Politics, and the Wild

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Rowman & Littlefield, 2002 - Literary Criticism - 141 pages
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Thoreau's Nature: Ethics, Politics, and the Wild explores how Thoreau crafted a life open to 'the Wild, ' a term that marks the startling element of foreignness in every object of experience, however familiar. Thoreau's encounters with nature, Bennett argues, allowed him to resist his all-too-human tendency toward intellectual laziness, social conformity, and political complacency. Bennett pursues this theme by constructing a series of dialogues between Thoreau and our contemporaries: Foucault on identity and power, Haraway on the nature/culture of division, Hollywood celebrities on the Walden Woods Project, the National Endowment for the Humanities on politics and art, and Kafka on the question of political idealism. The pertinence to the late 20th century of Thoreau's pursuit of independent judgment, ecological foresight, and moral nobility becomes apparent through these engagements
  

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Contents

Why Thoreau Hates Politics
1
American Politics
5
Reformers and Dissenters
8
A Night in the Concord Jail
11
Techniques of the Self
16
Moving Inward
17
Idealizing a Friend
20
Keeping Quiet
23
Inflection
59
A Quiet Acknowledgment
63
Thoreau and Haraway
67
Art and Politics
78
The Walden Woods Project
80
Contra Thoreau Contra Politics
85
ArtPolitics
91
A Minor Literature?
95

Going Outside
25
Microvisioning
26
Living Doubly
30
Hoeing Beans
32
Eating with Care
37
Building the Sojourner
42
Writing a Heteroverse
47
Ktaadn and the Mosquito
48
Universe and Heteroverse
51
Swamps Winter Animals and Frogs
55
Mythological Earnestness
58
A Word for Politics
99
Fronting Thoreau
105
On Transcending
108
Nietzsche Freud and Genealogy
110
America
113
Community and Justice
121
Kafkas Laugh
128
Political Sojourning
131
Index
139
About the Author
141
Copyright

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About the author (2002)

Jane Bennett is a political theorist at Goucher College in Baltimore, Maryland. She is the author of The Enchantment of Modern Life and a coordinating editor of Theory & Event.

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