Cover

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Title Page, Copyright, Dedication, Frontispiece

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Contents

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pp. vii-viii

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Preface

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pp. ix-xi

What is literature for? The study of literature isn’t typically cast in terms of its usefulness, but literature is a thing made for human use, like an airplane or a soup pot or a belt. In the sense that I mean the term...

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1. Literature, Science, and Biocultural Interpretation

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pp. 1-38

In the conclusion to “Literature and Science,” an address delivered in the United States in 1882, Matthew Arnold surmises that “humane letters” will remain at the center of education in the future, though “they will someday come, we may hope, to be studied more...

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2. “It Is No Tale”: Narrative, Aesthetics, and Ideology

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pp. 39-89

Literary scholars have been notably silent on the question of aesthetics in the past thirty-five years and have taken particular care to avoid evaluation of literary works based on aesthetic criteria. This is a product of a pervasive constructionist perspective...

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3. Minding Ecocriticism: Human Wayfinders and Natural Places

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pp. 90-151

Although ecocriticism only began to develop seriously as a subdiscipline of literary studies in the 1990s, it is inspired by the spirit of activism that spurred the development of numerous literary approaches two decades earlier. Feminist, Marxist...

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4. Remembering the Body: Feelings, Concepts, Process

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pp. 152-216

Like ecocriticism, the fi eld of cognitive approaches to literature has emerged as a recognizable subdiscipline of literary studies only within the last two decades, and also like that other recent area of study, its beginnings predate its recent ascendance...

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5. Endangered Daughters: Sex, Mating, and Power in Darwinian Feminist Perspective

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pp. 217-272

Evolutionary literary criticism has a rather different recent history from ecocriticism or cognitive approaches to literature. Whereas studies in literature and the environment grew out of the ecology movement initially, and whereas, over several decades...

Notes

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pp. 273-290

Bibliography

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pp. 291-306

Index

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pp. 307-315

Further Reading

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p. 317