Recent Thoreau studies have shifted to an emphasis on the green" Thoreau, on Thoreau the environmentalist, rooted firmly in particular places and interacting with particular objects. In the wake of Buell's Environmental Imagination, the nineteen essayists in this challenging volume address the central questions in Thoreau studies today: how "green," how immersed in a sense of place, was Thoreau really, and how has this sense of place affected the tradition of nature writing in America?
The Cambridge Companion to Henry David Thoreau is intended as an accessible guide to reading and understanding the works of Thoreau. Presenting essays by a distinguished array of contributors, the Companion is a valuable resource for historical and contextual material, whether on early writings like A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers, on the monumental Walden, or on his assorted journals and later books.
With the environmental crisis comes a crisis of the imagination, a need to find new ways to understand nature and humanity's relation to it. This is the challenge Lawrence Buell takes up in The Environmental Imagination, the most ambitious study to date of how literature represents the natural environment. With Thoreau's Walden as a touchstone, Buell gives us a far-reaching account of environmental perception and the place of nature in the history of western thought.