Traces of Gold: California's Natural Resources and the Claim to Realism in Western American Literature
University of Alabama Press, 2002 - Literary Criticism - 218 pages
Artfully demonstrates the linkage of American literary realism to the texts, myths, and resources of the American West
The familiar association of the West with nature and the “great outdoors” implies that life in the West affords an unambiguous relationship with an unalloyed, non-human, real nature. But through a combination of textual scholarship, genre criticism, and materialist cultural studies, Witschi complicates this notion of wide-open spaces and unfettered opportunity. The West has been the primary source of raw materials for American industrial and economic expansion, especially between the California Gold Rush and World War II, and Witschi argues that the writers he examines exist within the intersections of cultural and material modes of production. Realistic depictions of Western nature, he concludes, must rely on the representation of the extraction of material resources like minerals, water, and oil.
With its forays into ecocriticism and cultural studies, Traces of Gold will appeal to students and scholars of American literature, American studies, and western history.
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Traces of Gold: California's Natural Resources and the Claim to Realism in ...
Nicolas S. Witschi
No preview available - 2013