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Issue Details: First known date: 2007... 2007 The Environmental Ethics of Australian Nature Poems
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AbstractHistoryArchive Description

‘The basic contention inspiring this paper is: poets care about Australia’s physical environment and human survival in Australia. Australian literature contains a substantial body of knowledge that could be deployed to constitute the imaginative core of an environmental ethic. Thus a great many Australian literary texts could be studied with the purpose of helping to usher in the desirable concept of an environmentally literate community. The essay is divided into two sections. Section one will provide a brief survey of environmental ethics. This survey is followed by the exposition of six deontic or prescriptive outlines, to be supplemented by some eudaemonic considerations. The latter envisage the notion of the ‘good life,’ in harmony with nature. In section two, important insights furnished by environmental ethics will be used as an orientation towards identifying the environmental concerns shown in a variety of Australian nature poems. Among the authors considered are Bruce Dawe, Dorothy Hewett, John Kinsella, Mark O’Connor, John Shaw Neilson, Oodgeroo Noonuccal (Kath Walker), and last but not least Judith Wright. As will be seen, there are many convergences and correspondences between the basic claims made by environmental ethics, and the environmental insights and experiences that have been accumulated in a noteworthy corpus of Australian nature poems. What is enshrined in these poems is the ‘collective prudence,’ not only of a cultural elite, but also of the modern Everyman.’ (Author’s abstract p.81)

Notes

  • Epigraph:

    The poetry of nature, in the wider sense, is the
    fuel on which the environmental movement runs.
    Among the major literary forms only poetry
    seems adapted to focus on the non-human envi-
    ronment. (Mark O'Connor)

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

Works about this Work

Ecocriticism, Environmental Ethics, and a New Ecological Culture Norbert H. Platz , 2012 single work criticism
— Appears in: Engaging with Literature of Commitment : The Worldly Scholar (Volume 2) 2012; (p. 63-83)
‘In this essay I wish to offer a tentative programme for the development of fruitful cooperation between ecocriticism and environmental ethics. What could be envisaged as a result of this cooperation would be the idea and ideal of a new ecological culture. To start with, I will submit working definitions of my key terms. While doing this, I would also like to thumbnail the agendas they include. As will become clear, I look at the environment through a dual lens – in the hope that the relationship between these two foci will yield some new insights.’ (Author’s introduction 63)
Ecocriticism, Environmental Ethics, and a New Ecological Culture Norbert H. Platz , 2012 single work criticism
— Appears in: Engaging with Literature of Commitment : The Worldly Scholar (Volume 2) 2012; (p. 63-83)
‘In this essay I wish to offer a tentative programme for the development of fruitful cooperation between ecocriticism and environmental ethics. What could be envisaged as a result of this cooperation would be the idea and ideal of a new ecological culture. To start with, I will submit working definitions of my key terms. While doing this, I would also like to thumbnail the agendas they include. As will become clear, I look at the environment through a dual lens – in the hope that the relationship between these two foci will yield some new insights.’ (Author’s introduction 63)
Last amended 29 Jun 2011 13:18:37
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