From Virgin Land to Disney World: Nature and Its Discontents in the USA of Yesterday and Today (Google eBook)

Front Cover
Bernd Herzogenrath
Rodopi, Jan 1, 2001 - History - 432 pages
0 Reviews
With the publication in English in 1930 of Civilization and its Discontents and its thesis that instinct – and, ultimately: nature – had been and must be forever subordinated in order that civilization might thrive and endure, Freud contributed what some contemporaries saw to the central debate of his era -- a debate which had long preoccupied both official American pundits and the American populace at large. At the beginning of the new Millennium, evidence abounds that an American debate still rages over the meaning of “nature,” the rightful weight of instinct, and the status of civilization. The Millennium itself has appeared in popular and official discourses as an appropriate marker of an age in which nature is close to the edge of radical extinction and has also become more and more unreliable as a paradigm for representation and debate. At the same time, the contemporary tailoring of nature to postmodern needs and expectations inevitably reveals the conceptual difficulty of any possible, simple opposition between nature and culture as if they were clearly distinguishable domains. If nature, then, can clearly be seen as a discursive concept, it may also be a timeless concept insofar that it has been shaped, created, and used at all times. Every epoch, age and era had “its own nature,” with myth, history and ideology as its dominant shaping forces. From the Frontier to Cyberia, nature has been suffering the “agony of the real,” resurfacing in discursive strategies and demonstrating a powerful impact on American society, culture and self-definition. The essays in this collection “speak critically of the natural” and examine the American debate in the many guises it has assumed over the last century within the context of major critical approaches, psychoanalytical concepts, and postmodern theorizing.
  

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.

Selected pages

Contents

Section 1
7
Section 2
33
Section 3
34
Section 4
53
Section 5
69
Section 6
83
Section 7
105
Section 8
123
Section 15
277
Section 16
297
Section 17
317
Section 18
341
Section 19
361
Section 20
377
Section 21
403
Section 22
425

Section 9
147
Section 10
167
Section 11
187
Section 12
209
Section 13
229
Section 14
251
Section 23
426
Section 24
430
Section 25
431
Section 26
432
Copyright

Common terms and phrases

Popular passages

Page 4 - The eye is the best of artists. By the mutual action of its structure and of the laws of light, perspective is produced, which integrates every mass of objects, of what character soever, into a well colored and shaded globe, so that where the particular objects are mean and unaffecting, the landscape which they compose, is round and symmetrical.
Page 2 - The American is a new man, who acts upon new principles; he must therefore entertain new ideas, and form new opinions.

Bibliographic information