Presentation Type

Poster

Abstract

The Communicability of Nature: Redefining Nature’s Voice

In my paper my aim is to look at works by William Wordsworth, Henry David Thoreau, and Wislawa Szymborska and evaluate how nature appears in their works. With Wordsworth and Thoreau I take a critical approach to their self-centered sense of relationship with nature. In their works, nature takes on the form of a mirror to their thoughts—silent instead of present. Then I look at Szymborska as an example of equality in nature writing. Her work allows nature an individual voice that is in confrontation with the human speaker, using voice to highlight agency and resilience. Nature then begins to have an individual agency and power that takes it from the realm of simply “opposite to culture” (and silent) and into a space of actual presence. Once it has that presence, it can be heard, not just projected upon.

I took a fairly basic English research approach that combines literary works with critical viewpoints to see the work from a new perspective. My critical viewpoint is Ecocriticism (or Eco-phenomenology), a relatively new field in the English academy. In my research I wasn’t able to find any work on Szymborska’s poem from an Eco-phenomenological perspective, which is my focus. As such, this paper adds to the discuss on Szymborska’s poem and contributes to the burgeoning field of research that seeks to open a space for nature in terms of agency and voice, adding it as a character instead of a backdrop.

Category

Humanities

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Apr 15th, 11:00 AM Apr 15th, 12:00 PM

The Communicability of Nature

The Communicability of Nature: Redefining Nature’s Voice

In my paper my aim is to look at works by William Wordsworth, Henry David Thoreau, and Wislawa Szymborska and evaluate how nature appears in their works. With Wordsworth and Thoreau I take a critical approach to their self-centered sense of relationship with nature. In their works, nature takes on the form of a mirror to their thoughts—silent instead of present. Then I look at Szymborska as an example of equality in nature writing. Her work allows nature an individual voice that is in confrontation with the human speaker, using voice to highlight agency and resilience. Nature then begins to have an individual agency and power that takes it from the realm of simply “opposite to culture” (and silent) and into a space of actual presence. Once it has that presence, it can be heard, not just projected upon.

I took a fairly basic English research approach that combines literary works with critical viewpoints to see the work from a new perspective. My critical viewpoint is Ecocriticism (or Eco-phenomenology), a relatively new field in the English academy. In my research I wasn’t able to find any work on Szymborska’s poem from an Eco-phenomenological perspective, which is my focus. As such, this paper adds to the discuss on Szymborska’s poem and contributes to the burgeoning field of research that seeks to open a space for nature in terms of agency and voice, adding it as a character instead of a backdrop.