Dark Eden: The Swamp in Nineteenth-Century American Culture by David MillerDark Eden: The Swamp in Nineteenth-Century American Culture by David Miller

Dark Eden: The Swamp in Nineteenth-Century American Culture

byDavid Miller

Paperback | August 26, 2010

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An important though little understood aspect of the response to nature of nineteenth-century Americans is the widespread interest in the scenery of swamps, jungles and other waste lands. Dark Eden focuses on this developing interest in order to redefine cultural values during a transformative period of American history. Professor Miller shows how, for many Americans in the period around the Civil War, nature came to be regarded less as a source of high moral insight and more as a sanctuary from an ever more urbanized and technological environment. In the swamps and jungles of the South a whole range of writers found a set of strange and exotic images by which to explore the changing social realities of the times and the deep-seated personal pressures that accompanied them.
Title:Dark Eden: The Swamp in Nineteenth-Century American CultureFormat:PaperbackDimensions:350 pages, 10 × 7.01 × 0.71 inPublished:August 26, 2010Publisher:Cambridge University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0521147468

ISBN - 13:9780521147460

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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations; Acknowledgements; Introduction; Part I. The Matrix of Transformation: 1. To the lake of the dismal swamp: Porte Crayon's inward journey; 2. The elusive Eden: the mid-Victorian response to the swamp; 3. Mid-Victorian cultural values and the amoral landscape: the swamp image in the work of William Gilmore Simms and Harriet Beecher Stowe; Part II. The Phenomenology of Disintegration: 4. Frederic Church in the tropics; 5. The penetration of the jungle; 6. American nature writing in the mid-Victorian period: from pilgrimage to quest; 7. A loss of vision: the cultural inheritance; 8. A loss of vision: the challenge of the image; 9. Infection and imagination: the swamp and the atmospheric analogy; Part III. The Circuit of Death and Regeneration: 10. Immersion and regeneration: Emerson and Thoreau; 8. The identification with desert places: Martin Johnson Heade and Frederick Goddard Tuckerman; 12. Religion, science, and nature: Sidney Lanier and Lafcadio Hearn; Conclusion: Katherine Anne Porter's Jungle and the Modernist idiom; Appendix; Notes; Selected Bibliography; Index.

Editorial Reviews

"...a wide-ranging, generously illustrated cataloguing of the metaphor of the swamp (and marsh and jungle) in American painting, writing and folklore. Miller's attention both to the physical shapes of particular landscapes and to what artists project on to a landscape makes the book a useful extension of work in a Canadian context by Dick Harrison, Robert Thacker and Gaile MacGregor." Canadian Literature