Romantic Anti-capitalism and Nature: The Enchanted Garden

1st Edition

Robert Sayre, Michael Löwy

Published October 29, 2019
Reference - 140 Pages - 5 B/W Illustrations
ISBN 9780367265052 - CAT# 311148
Series: Routledge Explorations in Environmental Studies

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Romantic Anti-capitalism and Nature examines the deep connections between the romantic rebellion against modernity and ecological concern with modern threats to nature. The chapters deal with expressions of romantic culture from a wide variety of different areas: travel writing, painting, utopian vision, cultural studies, political philosophy, and activist socio-political writing. The authors discuss a highly diverse group of figures - William Bartram, Thomas Cole, William Morris, Walter Benjamin, Raymond Williams, and Naomi Klein - from the late eighteenth to the early twenty-first century. They are rooted individually in English, American, and German cultures, but share a common perspective: the romantic protest against modern bourgeois civilisation and its destruction of the natural environment.

Although a rich ecocritical literature has developed since the 1990s, particularly in the United States and Britain, that addresses many aspects of ecology and its intersection with romanticism, they almost exclusively focus on literature, and define romanticism as a limited literary period of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. This study is one of the first to suggest a much broader view of the romantic relation to ecological discourse and representation, covering a range of cultural creations and viewing romanticism as a cultural critique, or protest against capitalist-industrialist modernity in the name of past, pre-modern, or pre-capitalist values.

This book will be of great interest to students and scholars of ecology, romanticism, and the history of capitalism.

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