Synopses & Reviews
Is the pastoral dead? Gifford adds fuel to the fiery debate in this lively examination of contemporary and classical nature writing. He begins by clarifying the different uses of "pastoral" and tracing the history of the genre from its classical origins in the poetic dialogues of supposed shepherds, to the Elizabethan dramas such as "The Winter's Tale," through the pastoral poetry of Pope and Wordsworth, to the more recent rural novels and contemporary American nature writing. Including pastoral and antipastoral texts, the book traces the pastoral impulse of retreat and return with close readings of quoted texts, cultural studies, and ecocriticism.
Pastoral is a succinct and up-to-date introductory text to the history, major writers and critical issues of this genre. Terry Gifford clarifies the different uses of pastoral covering:
* the history of the genre from its classical origins to Elizabethan drama, through eighteenth-century pastoral poetry to contemporary American nature writing
* the pastoral impulse of retreat and return, beginning with constructions of Arcadia and using a combination of close reading of quoted texts, cultural studies and eco-criticism
* post-pastoral texts with a look at writers, who Gifford argues, have discovered ways of reconnecting us with our natural environment.