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Building Natures

Modern American Poetry, Landscape Architecture, and City Planning

Julia Daniel (author)

ISBN: 9780813940830

Publication Date: Nov 2017

Format: Hardback

Also available as: Paperback  

Explores the influence of landscape architecture, city planning, and parks management on American poetry to show how modernists engaged with the green worlds and social playgrounds created in the early twentieth century. Through a combination of ecocriticism, urban studies, and historical geography, this book unveils the neglected urban context for seemingly natural landscapes in modernist poems.
£43.50

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In Building Natures, Julia Daniel establishes the influence of landscape architecture, city planning, and parks management on American poetry to show how modernists engaged with the green worlds and social playgrounds created by these new professions in the early twentieth century. The modern poets who capture these parks in verse explore the aesthetic principles and often failed democratic ideals embedded in the designers' verdant architectures. The poetry of Carl Sandburg, Wallace Stevens, William Carlos Williams, and Marianne Moore foregrounds the artistry behind our most iconic green spaces. At the same time, it demonstrates how parks framed, rather than ameliorated, civic anxieties about an increasingly diverse population living and working in dense, unhealthy urban centers.

Through a combination of ecocriticism, urban studies, and historical geography, Building Natures unveils the neglected urban context for seemingly natural landscapes in several modernist poems, such as Moore's "An Octopus" and Stevens's Notes Toward a Supreme Fiction, while contributing to the dismantling of the organic-mechanic divide in modernist studies and ecocriticism.

Reviews

"This study makes it possible for future critics to ground the reception of these park poems in equally careful analysis. Building Natures convinced me that it no longer makes sense to separate nature writing from urban modernism. So much of the work from the period deals with how to understand the natural world in relation to increasingly unavoidable effects of industrial modernity. These are interdependent spaces, and it is our critical obligation to treat them as the complex ecosystems they are." – ALH Online Review, XXVI.1 (2018)
Illustrations 14 black & white illustrations
Pages 224
Dimensions 229 x 152
Date Published 30 Nov 2017
Publisher University of Virginia Press
Series Under the Sign of Nature
Subject/s Literary studies: general   Literary companions   Literary theory   Theory of architecture  
Julia E. Daniel is Assistant Professor of English at Baylor University.

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