Back to Nature: The Green and the Real in the Late Renaissance
Selected by Choice magazine as an Outstanding Academic Title
Sweeping across scholarly disciplines, Back to Nature shows that, from the moment of their conception, modern ecological and epistemological anxieties were conjoined twins. Urbanization, capitalism, Protestantism, colonialism, revived Skepticism, empirical science, and optical technologies conspired to alienate people from both the earth and reality itself in the seventeenth century. Literary and visual arts explored the resulting cultural wounds, expressing the pain and proposing some ingenious cures. The stakes, Robert N. Watson demonstrates, were huge.
Shakespeare's comedies, Marvell's pastoral lyrics, Traherne's visionary Centuries, and Dutch painting all illuminate a fierce submerged debate about what love of nature has to do with perception of reality.
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Review: Back to Nature: The Green and the Real in the Late RenaissanceUser Review - Patricia - Goodreads
Watson manages to take on difficult ideas without being impenetrable. His comments on the present urgency to attend to ecological issues was convincing and deepened the book rather than making it anachronistic. The chapter on Merchant of Venice was especially illuminating. Read full review
Ecology Epistemology and Empiricism
Theology Semiotics and Literature
Paradoxes Alienation from Nature in English Literature
As You Liken It Simile in the Forest
Shades of Green Marvells Garden and the Mowers
Reformations Protestant Politics Poetics and Paintings
Metaphysical and Cavalier Styles of Consciousness
The Retreat of God the Passions of Nature and the Objects of Dutch Painting
Nature in Two Dimensions Perspective and Presence in Ryckaert Vermeer and Others