Literature And Ecology: An Experiment In Ecocriticism

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Ecocriticism is a new critical approach. A changing in attitudes towards the natural world became obvious in the last decades as a result of the damage that human intervention caused to the environment. The term ecocriticism was used for the first time by William Reuckert in his essay “Literature and Ecology: An Experiment in Ecocriticism”, originally published in 1978. Rueckert’s version of ecocriticism differs when compared to how ecocriticism is currently used and understood. The word ecocritic derived from the unification of the words ‘ecology’ derived from the Greek, oikos, meaning ‘household’, and ‘critic’, derived from the Greek, kritis, meaning ‘judge’ (Snyder 23; Howarth 69), which, as Howarth explains, signifies that we may think of an ecocritic as one who “‘judges the merits and faults of writings that depict the effects of culture upon nature, with a view toward celebrating nature, berating its despoilers, and reversing their harm through political action’” (69) The term deep ecology appeared for the first time in 1970’s. Arne Naess, an ecological philosopher from Norway used the term in his essay “The Shallow and the Deep, Long-Range Ecology Movement”. Deep ecology started as a philosophy of life but has been adopted by ecocritics as a means of reading texts as well. Despite its beginnings, deep ecology is generally seen as a kind of ecocriticism, rather than ecocriticism being seen as a kind of deep ecology. Deep ecology, as a literary theory,

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