Environmental Crises and East Asian Literatures
Publication Year: 2012
Published by: University of Michigan Press
Title Page, Copyright Page
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introduction: Environments, Environmental Ambiguities, and Literatures
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âWeâd like to cut down the trees with nature in mind.â So declared Suzuki Takehiko, director of the ShÅsenkyÅ KankÅ KyÅkai (ShÅsen Gorge Tourism Association), in August 2008. Part of Japanâs Chichibu-Tama-Kai National Park, ShÅsen Gorge has for decades been labeled the countryâs âmost . . .
One / Environmental Degradation and Literature in East Asia
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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 . . .
Two / Accentuating Ambivalence
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At once amusingly flippant and disturbingly serious, âLetâs Eat Starsâ parodies religious and other forms of anthropocentrism; it mocks the beliefâarticulated in Genesis 1:1 and elsewhereâthat a heavenly being created . . .
Three / Underlining Uncertainty
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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, âOf making books there is no end,â while in the first century, Seneca declared âthe abundance of books is distractionâ . . .
Four / Capitalizing on Contradiction
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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 . . .
Five / Acquiescing
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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. . . .
Six / Illusions and Delusions
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Some of literatureâs 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 Xianyongâs âAnlexiang de yi riâ (A Day in Pleasantville, 1964), for instance, would not seem to hold much of interest to the ecocritic. . . .
Seven / Green Paradoxes
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One of the oddities of peopleâs 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 âdigging up the earth to retrieve resources . . .
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Page Count: 688
Publication Year: 2012