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Plots: the narratives of place in contemporary nature writing

Plots: the narratives of place in contemporary nature writing

Weston, Daniel Peter (2015) Plots: the narratives of place in contemporary nature writing. In: Berberich, Christine, Campbell, Neil and Hudson, Robert, (eds.) Affective Landscapes in Literature, Art and Everyday Life. Ashgate Publishing, Farnham, UK, pp. 173-185. ISBN 9781472431790

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Discussing landscape as ‘a narrative medium’, Stephen Daniels and Hayden Lorimer have drawn attention to the way spatial narratives have increasingly been ‘focused within human individuals’ in recent years. This has often constituted ‘a new, consciously creative conjunction of personal biography and natural history'. Within this broad trend, Daniels and Lorimer identify the sub-genre that has come to be known as ‘the new nature writing’ as a leading paradigm. Here, I aim to survey a number of texts that might be said to inhabit this loose grouping – the ‘new nature writing’ – and focus on three examples that incorporate a self-reflexive aspect, demonstrating an awareness of their own narrative procedures and assumptions. I aim to demonstrate that creative writers are themselves navigating this set of issues. I will argue that these apparently non-fictional texts – or at least, texts that approach non-fictional subject matter – appropriate and redeploy the techniques of fictional and creative genres. That is, they already go some way towards performing the reflection on their relationship to and inheritance from established literary genres that Daniels and Lorimer call for.

Item Type: Book Section
Uncontrolled Keywords: new nature writing, narrative, natural history, autobiography, genre
Faculty / School / Research Centre / Research Group: Faculty of Liberal Arts & Sciences
Faculty of Liberal Arts & Sciences > School of Humanities & Social Sciences (HSS)
Last Modified: 21 Apr 2020 10:56

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