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Appears in Collections:eTheses from Faculty of Arts and Humanities legacy departments
Title: The wolf and literature
Author(s): Powici, Christopher
Issue Date: 2002
Publisher: University of Stirling
Abstract: This thesis explores how wolves, and other animals, are represented in a variety of literary texts. At stake in these explorations is the shifting and problematic border between the human and the animal, culture and nature, civilisation and the wild. Because of its biological proximity to the domestic dog, as well as the ways in which it has been figured as both the ultimate expression of wild savagery and of maternal love, the wolf is an exemplary guide to this border. The wolf traces the ways in which the human/animal border has been constructed, sustained and transgressed. These border crossings take on a special resonance given the widespread sense of a contemporary environmental crisis. In this respect this thesis amounts to a contribution to the field of ecocriticism and pays special attention to the claim that the environmental crisis is also a 'crisis of the imagination', of our ideational and aesthetic relationship to the nonhuman world. With this in mind I look closely at some of the main currents of ecocriticism with a view to showing how certain psychoanalytic and poststructuralust approaches can enhance an overall ecocritical stance. It is an analysis which will also show how the sense of environmental emergency cannot be divorced from other critical and political concerns, including those concerns highlighted by feminist and postcolonial critics. In the words of a much favoured environmentalist slogan, 'everything connects to everything else'. Ultimately this thesis shows that how we imagine the wolf, and nature in general, in literary texts, is inextricably bound up with our relationship to, and treatment of, the natural world and the animals, including human beings, for whom that world is home.
Type: Thesis or Dissertation

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