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Poetics and Politics of Place in Pastoral

International Perspectives

Edited By Bénédicte Chorier-Fryd, Charles Holdefer and Thomas Pughe

In a time of global environmental crisis, pastoralism may seem beside the point. Yet pastoral ideals are still alive even though they often manifest themselves by ironic indirection. What can the pastoral tradition teach us about our ties to particular places?
The contributors to this volume attempt to lay the groundwork for the ongoing concern with pastoral and with its critical revision.
This volume brings together new essays that focus on painting, photography, poetry, essay, fiction and film, from the Renaissance to the present. They also take into account an astonishing variety of pastoral places, in Europe, Africa, and North America; country and city; suburbia and industrial zones.
Poetics and Politics of Place in Pastoral is not only about reassessing the past, but also provides a sense of future developments as the pastoral reinvents itself for the 21 st century.
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“Walking in the Greater Garden”: Thoreau and the Pastoral Ideal

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FRANÇOIS SPECQ

“Walking in the Greater Garden”: Henry David Thoreau and the Pastoral Ideal 

Only look at what is to be seen, and you will have garden enough.

The notion of pastoral is a notoriously complex, elusive, and even slippery one. This essay will neither attempt to reconceptualize it, nor even to try and exhaustively explore the various ways in which Thoreau’s writings refer to the pastoral tradition. I will more particularly consider some aspects of how Thoreau’s “pastoralism” bears on his sense of place, thus contributing to the current debate on “radical pastoral.”1

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