Refiguring the Map of Sorrow
Recent decades have witnessed an explosion of interest in both autobiography andenvironmental literature. In Refiguring the Map of Sorrow, Mark Allister brings these two genrestogether by examining a distinct form of grief narrative, in which the writers deal with mourning bystanding explicitly both outside and inside the text: outside in writing about the natural world,inside in making that exposition part of the grieving process.Building on PeterFritzell's thesis in Nature Writing and America that the best American nature writing blendsAristotelian natural history and Augustinian confession, this work of literary interpretation drawson psychoanalytical narrative theory, studies of grieving, autobiography theory, and ecocriticismfor its insights into how nature writing can become an autobiographical, healingact. Allister examines works by Terry Tempest Williams, SueHubbell, Peter Matthiessen, Bill Barich, William Least Heat-Moon, and Gretel Ehrlich in order todemonstrate the difficulty of hearing nature speak, and of translating terrain and self intolanguage and form. As he focuses on the many ways in which humans connect-often deeply andurgently-to animals or the land, Allister vastly extends our understanding of ",relational",autobiography.
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