Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home
Hostname: page-component-7f7b94f6bd-9g8ph Total loading time: 0.421 Render date: 2022-06-30T22:13:58.148Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: { "shouldUseShareProductTool": true, "shouldUseHypothesis": true, "isUnsiloEnabled": true, "useRatesEcommerce": false, "useNewApi": true } hasContentIssue true

Chapter 4 - Thoreau’s Dispersion: Writing a Natural History of Casualties

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  16 November 2021

Get access

Summary

This chapter on Henry David Thoreau puts in relief the ecological commons and historiography of nature that issue from the environmental relations illustrated by the sketch. Connecting Thoreau’s Cape Cod to his “Dispersion of Seeds,” the chapter describes these relations in terms of the dispersal that follows from waves rising and receding upon the shore and tossing up weeds, corpses, and all kinds of salvage materials left from shipwrecks. The sketch’s seeing—and enacting—of relation as a littoral erosion and disintegration presents an alternate sense of how one lives with, pressed up against, familiarly or strangely, other species and races. If a romantic ecology might envision relations in the form of an interconnected cobweb, Thoreau’s late manuscripts release those slight silky threads to the air and lets them fly apart and ray out prismatically. This chapter follows how Thoreau’s sketches embody the ways in which text becomes a natural history of casualty, attending to species and race, and engaging with them by way of an environmental optics. The tenuous lines of sight draw a partial ecology that stretches and cleaves the liminalities between “nature” and Thoreau’s “I,” even as it disperses those very entities.

Type
Chapter
Information
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2021

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

Save book to Kindle

To save this book to your Kindle, first ensure coreplatform@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about saving to your Kindle.

Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

Available formats
×

Save book to Dropbox

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Dropbox.

Available formats
×

Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

Available formats
×