From Virgin Land to Disney World: Nature and Its Discontents in the USA of Yesterday and Today
Rodopi, 2001 - History - 432 pages
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.
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aesthetic animal liberation animal rights argues artists Baudrillard beauty become becoming-animal body modification brownfield century civilization concept consciousness construction contemporary context create critical critique Deleuze desert desire discourse Disney Disney World Disney's Disney's Wilderness Lodge ecological Ecology movement environment experience fantasy feeling Felham fiction film Flow City Fresh Kills Freud frontier human hyperreality idea images inhuman Kissimmee River kitsch Lacan landscape language Las Vegas living London Lyotard Maximus means metaphor Mirage modem Modern Modern Primitives mountain movement myth narrative Native Americans nature and culture Nine Mile Run nonhuman object Olson original pagan painting paradigm park Peckinpah Philosophy Pocahontas political postmodern primitive reality religion represent representation restoration River Rodman romantic sense social society space sublime symbolic tattooing theory things Thomas Cole Tocqueville traditional Ukeles University Press Vegas violence Warhol Wild Bunch Wilderness Lodge Wittgenstein writes York
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.