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Author Bossing, William Peter
Title Chorography: Writing an American literature of place (Henry David Thoreau, with Original writing)
book jacket
Descript 238 p
Note Source: Dissertation Abstracts International, Volume: 61-01, Section: A, page: 0178
Chair: G. Douglas Atkins
Thesis (Ph.D.)--The University of Kansas, 1999
A current trend in the writing of literary prose are projects that seek to capture a specific landscape in terms not only of geography but also of culture and of personal experience. This "literature of place" seeks to explore the interaction between human community and environment by creating a kind of literary hybrid that combines the traditions of the memoirist, the cultural geographer, the literary scholar, and the nature writer. This study seeks both to chronicle the development of this unique literary form and to present original creative nonfiction that articulates its central themes. The goal of this hybrid form of dissertation is to create a work that is both "scholarly" in its identification and description of this literature and "creative" in its attempt to present new writing that exemplifies some of the common themes and forms of this place-writing
The scholarly component focuses on defining the tradition of an American literature of place and on tracing its development from the mid-nineteenth century to the present. This study begins with a reading of Thoreau's Walden as a cultural "call" for a literature of place. This literary model, combining personal and natural histories with philosophy and social criticism, has enjoyed increasing influence in the late twentieth century, a period often described as "placeless" or "displaced" by cultural critics. Also, this study explores contemporary examples of this literature, arguing that we are experiencing a renaissance of writing about place
The creative writing component focuses on providing examples of the more common themes and forms presented in this literature of place. Although each of the pieces is set in a distinctive location, they are all engaged with the interaction between language and landscape. In this sense, these pieces posit a theory of writing about place while at the same time presenting different modes of "chorography," or place-writing, ranging from the memoir to travel writing to the nature essay. These pieces seek to contribute to the current formation of a distinctive literature of place while at the same time exploring the cultural forces that contribute to its development
School code: 0099
Host Item Dissertation Abstracts International 61-01A
Subject Literature, American
Alt Author The University of Kansas
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