Nature Writing and Environmental Activism

Robert E. Burkholder

in The Oxford Handbook of Transcendentalism

Published in print April 2010 | ISBN: 9780195331035
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks

 Nature Writing and Environmental Activism

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As the title suggests, the article is concerned with the concept of nature writing and environmental activism and the involvement of the Transcendentalists in it. It states that beyond the obvious significance and continuing influence of Thoreau, the role of other Transcendentalists on the development of nature writing was less clear. However they revered nature in ways their New England ancestors did not because nature was no longer the daily obstacle it had once been. Moreover, for the Transcendentalists, nature was “evidence and analogue of man's relation to God.” Apart from the works of Thoreau, the article examines the content of some of the works of Margaret Fuller such as “Summer on the Lakes” which was a combination of travel writing, landscape description, and advocacy for Native Americans. The article states that though the Transcendentalists were humanists and social and religious reformers, the human themes in their writings found way into nature writing.

Keywords: American naturism; nature writing; American environmental movement; environmental activism

Article.  9105 words. 

Subjects: Literature ; Literary Studies (19th Century) ; Literary Studies (Fiction, Novelists, and Prose Writers)

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