“Place, Space and the Not-Self” is a study in ecopoetry separated into two distinct sections: critical and creative. The critical component explores the works of Gary Snyder and Robinson Jeffers. While their poetics are quite different, when viewed under an ecopoetic lens, the poets merge in their ecologically guided philosophies—Buddhism for Snyder and Inhumanism for Jeffers. The two reflect on the differences between place and space, as defined by geographer Yi-Fu Tuan. While space is a more abstract term, identifying unfamiliar territory, place is intimate and familiar. Space becomes place once it is known and definable. For Snyder and Jeffers, an attachment to familiar place and an awareness of nature and human as closely connected leads the poets to reject a notion of selfhood that implies the individual exists wholly separate from nature.
The creative section consists of ecopoems that reflect on the poet’s own place-attachment. Grand Isle, Louisiana is the center of the collection, in which the reality of the eroding landscape guides the poet to acceptance of the complete loss of the land in the future, while a tension between Catholic and Buddhist thought lingers.
|Commitee:||Fox, Willard, McNally, John|
|School:||University of Louisiana at Lafayette|
|School Location:||United States -- Louisiana|
|Source:||MAI 57/05M(E), Masters Abstracts International|
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