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Going Away to Think: Engagement, Retreat, and Ecocritical Responsibility Paperback – August 8, 2008
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From Publishers Weekly
In this uneven essay collection that veers between the pedantic and profound, Slovic looks through the lens of literature and life to examine the balance between activism and contemplation: the responsibility... to be fully present in this life and the responsibility... to be involved with the transgressions and the opportunities of my community. Some essays are almost purely didactic, such as Ecocriticism, which outlines essential but hardly earth-shattering strategies for ecological writing: storytelling, values (a rejection of supposed scholarly neutrality), communication (so much literary scholarship is unreadable garbage) and contact. At other times Slovic is subtle, poetic and provocative, as in Be Prepared for the Worst, a deeply moving warning against the sweet sadness of future remorse that demonstrates how a personal worst—the death of Slovic's own child, for example—holds more emotional sharpness than hugely tragic but slow-moving, large, systemic patterns like ecological deterioration. Despite the academic tone, Slovic's struggle to engage meaningfully with humanity and art in order to fight for a natural world he loves will resonate with readers grappling with their own balancing acts between the personal and planetary. (Sept.)
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Top Customer Reviews
Throughout the essay, the author takes us along on his many travels where he "goes away to think." He takes us to Oregon, Mexico, to a gated community in Nevada, and more--and weaves together a mixture of personal narrative, factual information, and an ecocritical analysis of other writers.
This book is not only a necessary read for ecocritics, but also unlike most scholarly books labeled under the umbrella of "ecocriticism," it is completely accessible to even the general environmentalist. Slovic's writing style and narrative make this book completely inspirational and captivating.