Cover

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Title Page, Copyright Page

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Contents

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Conventions

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pp. xiii-xiii

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introduction: Environments, Environmental Ambiguities, and Literatures

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pp. 1-31

“We’d like to cut down the trees with nature in mind.” So declared Suzuki Takehiko, director of the Shōsenkyō Kankō Kyōkai (Shōsen Gorge Tourism Association), in August 2008. Part of Japan’s Chichibu-Tama-Kai National Park, Shōsen Gorge has for decades been labeled the country’s “most . . .

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One / Environmental Degradation and Literature in East Asia

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pp. 32-95

More so than their counterparts in other areas of the world, premodern East Asian literatures, fine arts, religions, and philosophies frequently idealized abstract visions of the natural world and of human interactions with . . .

Part I

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Two / Accentuating Ambivalence

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pp. 99-155

At once amusingly flippant and disturbingly serious, “Let’s Eat Stars” parodies religious and other forms of anthropocentrism; it mocks the belief—articulated in Genesis 1:1 and elsewhere—that a heavenly being created . . .

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Three / Underlining Uncertainty

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pp. 156-213

Ours is not the first age to feel flooded by information. Ecclesiastes 12:12 (dating to the fourth or third century B.C.E.) laments, “Of making books there is no end,” while in the first century, Seneca declared “the abundance of books is distraction” . . .

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Four / Capitalizing on Contradiction

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pp. 214-278

Although increasingly conscious of environmental degradation, we remain remarkably unaware of how our behaviors affect ecosystems near and far. We know surprisingly little about the effect of human actions on the etiologies, the patterns . . .

Part II

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Five / Acquiescing

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pp. 281-327

The lights [on the river from nearby buildings] were only surface reflections and had no connection with the river itself. Still, reflecting the lights, the river was beautiful. Likewise, the lights reflected on the surface of the river were beautiful. The filth at the bottom of the river was hidden from sight. . . .

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Six / Illusions and Delusions

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pp. 328-379

Some of literature’s most incisive commentaries on human abuse of the nonhuman arise in texts that appear to have very little to do with ecodegradation. Writings such as Bai Xianyong’s “Anlexiang de yi ri” (A Day in Pleasantville, 1964), for instance, would not seem to hold much of interest to the ecocritic. . . .

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Seven / Green Paradoxes

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pp. 380-435

One of the oddities of people’s interactions with their surroundings is that individuals who love, respect, or show fascination with nature often contribute, deliberately or inadvertently, to damaging or destroying it. Navajo spiritual guides have claimed that “digging up the earth to retrieve resources . . .

Notes

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pp. 437-568

Works Cited

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pp. 569-643

Index

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pp. 645-688