Nature Writing Display

The literary genre known as nature writing came into its own in the 19th century. It was born of Romantic and Transcendentalist interest in how the human mind imagines nature, paralleling the growing importance of the sciences as a means of knowing the natural world amidst burgeoning industrialization and urbanization.

Nature writing explores several key questions:

  • Does nature demonstrate humankind’s relation to a transcendent realm, or reveal that we are accidents of nature, constructed and confined by biology?
  • Are humans fundamentally a part of or separate from nature?
  • How does culture influence our approach to nature?
  • Is science or intuition best able to discover our relation to and responsibility for the natural world?
  • What role does language play in how we understand creation?
  • What limits does language place on that understanding?

(Written by Ann Lundberg)


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