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Environmental discourse

May 16, 2011

Just enjoying Des Hunt’s writing and thinking… his work is overtly environmentalist.  Environmental politics drive the narrative without letting the story succumb to moralist rhetoric.  Where Cuckoos Call, for example, revolves around a delicate ecological system in need of protection by mankind from mankind. The protagonist, a fat geek, basically, (who leaves for highschool and makes geek friends – great to see a protagonist finding himself outside the norm without making a huge deal about it!) has made himself responsible for the protection of birdlife on his beach.  He brings all manner of scientific ideas and wonderings into the narrative – and this science really proves to be the engine driving the narrative along…

Where Cuckoos Call – and Des Hunt’s other work, too – might benefit from some discourse analysis… and there is already plenty of research into narrative and environmentalism…  Again, in my mind, I’m aligning Hunt’s writing with Maurice Gee – the environmentalism of the O series, or of the Salt series, for example…

Incidentally, Radio National’s Birds are available to listen to online: Pīpīwharauroa (shining cuckoo)

Photograph by J.L. Kendrick. Crown Copyright 1980, Department of Conservation.

Listen to this bird

Download: Ogg Vorbis  MP3

Possible references: No.6 in Routledge Studies in Memory and Narrative, titled The Roots of Environmental Consciousness

Wild things : children’s culture and ecocriticism / edited by Sidney I. Dobrin and Kenneth B. Kidd

Democracy, ecological integrity and international law / edited by J. Ronald Engel, Laura Westra and Klaus Bosselmann

How Maori cultural tourism businesses create authentic and sustainable well-being / Chellie M. Spiller (Uni of A PhD thesis 2010)

Responsibilising the community : a neoliberal governance approach to urban environmental degradation / Travis Hunter Stull (Unif of A thesis MSc 2009)

Justice and the enviroment [sic] / general editor: Trevor Daya-Winterbottom

The natural world in Latin American literatures [electronic resource] : ecocritical essays on twentieth century writings / edited by Adrian Taylor Kane

Smartcities + eco-warriors / C.J. Lim + Ed Liu

Anthropology and climate change : from encounters to actions / editors, Susan A. Crate and Mark Nuttall

Environmental law and justice in context / edited by Jonas Ebbesson and Phoebe Okowa

Postcolonial green : environmental politics & world narratives / edited by Bonnie Roos & Alex Hunt

Queer ecologies [electronic resource] : sex, nature, politics, desire / edited by Catriona Mortimer-Sandilands and Bruce Erickson ???

Converging stories : race, ecology, and environmental justice in American literature / Jeffrey Myers

Beyond nature writing : expanding the boundaries of ecocriticism / edited by Karla Armbruster and Kathleen R. Wallace

Another place [electronic resource] : an ecocritical study of selected western American poets / Andrew Elkins

Coming into contact : explorations in ecocritical theory and practice / edited by Annie Merrill Ingram

Barbara Kingsolver : a literary companion / Mary Ellen Snodgrass

Another place [electronic resource] : an ecocritical study of selected western American poets / Andrew Elkins

American Earth : environmental writing since Thoreau / edited by Bill McKibben ; foreword by Al Gore

Ecocritical explorations in literary and cultural studies : fences, boundaries, and fields / Patrick D. Murphy

The ecocriticism reader : landmarks in literary ecology / edited by Cheryll Glotfelty and Harold Fromm

Ecofeminist literary criticism : theory, interpretation, pedagogy / edited by Greta Gaard and Patrick D. Murphy.

Ecological imaginations in Latin American fiction / Laura Barbas-Rhoden

Ecological criticism [sound recording] : the environments of Spanish American fiction / Jonathan Tittler

Ecological literary criticism : romantic imagining and the biology of mind / Karl Kroeber

Ecology without nature : rethinking environmental aesthetics / Timothy Morton

The environmental tradition in English literature / edited by John Parham

The future of environmental criticism : environmental crisis and literary imagination / Lawrence Buell

The green studies reader : from Romanticism to ecocriticism / edited by Laurence Coupe ; with a foreword by Jonathan Bate

Indians, environment, and identity on the borders of American literature : from Faulkner and Morrison to Walker and Silko / Lindsey Claire Smith

The invention of the countryside : hunting, walking, and ecology in English literature, 1671-1831 / Donna Landry

Reading and writing the Latin American landscape [electronic resource] / Beatriz Rivera-Barnes and Jerry Hoeg

This compost : ecological imperatives in American poetry / Jed Rasula

Uselo y tírelo : el mundo del fin del milenio, visto desde una ecología latinoamericana / Eduardo Galeano

“Wilderness into civilized shapes” : reading the postcolonial environment / Laura Wright

Writing the environment : ecocriticism and literature / edited by Richard Kerridge and Neil Sammells

Writing the forest in early modern England : a sylvan pastoral nation / Jeffrey S. Theis

Beyond nature writing : expanding the boundaries of ecocriticism / edited by Karla Armbruster and Kathleen R. Wallace

The colonial earth / Tim Bonyhady

Making nature sacred : literature, religion, and environment in America from the Puritans to the present / John Gatta

Writing for an endangered world : literature, culture, and environment in the U.S. and beyond / Lawrence Buell — the summary of this last book, for example, says: Offers a conception of the physical environment–whether built or natural–as simultaneously found and constructed, and treats imaginative representations of it as acts of both discovery and invention. A number of the chapters develop this idea through parallel studies of figures identified with either “natural” or urban settings: John Muir and Jane Addams; Aldo Leopold and William Faulkner; Robinson Jeffers and Theodore Dreiser; Wendell Berry and Gwendolyn Brooks. Focusing on nineteenth- and twentieth-century writers, but ranging freely across national borders, this book reimagines city and country as a single complex landscape

HMMMM!!! I realise this is another note to self, so please ignore me if you’re not interested in reference lists! Fair enough of course! …but I’m thinking perhaps Maurice Gee, Des Hunt, Margaret Mahy, Patricia Grace,… ecocriticism… don’t know yet

There is another (old) book, The Power of Place:, by Diane Hebley which would be relevant… anyway a better search another day!


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