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Thoreau's Late Career and The Dispersion of Seeds: The Saunterer's Synoptic Vision (Studies in English and American Literature and Culture)
by:Michael Benjamin Berger
Until very recently, only a handful of Thoreau specialists knew of the existence of 'The Dispersion of Seeds', an ecological treatise written during the last years of Thoreau's life, which has been reconstructed and edited, and was published for the first time in 1993. Thoreau's Late Career and the Dispersion of Seeds, the first full-length study of this...
Until very recently, only a handful of Thoreau specialists knew of the existence of 'The Dispersion of Seeds', an ecological treatise written during the last years of Thoreau's life, which has been reconstructed and edited, and was published for the first time in 1993. Thoreau's Late Career and the Dispersion of Seeds, the first full-length study of this important late work by Thoreau, analyzes literary features of 'The Dispersion of Seeds' that make it an accomplished work of the imagination, and applies interdisciplinary scholarship in order to relate Thoreau's prescient ecology to scientific issues of his day and ours. Thus it demonstrates that in his late career Thoreau was working as scientist and poet simultaneously. Berger further explores how Thoreau managed the philosophical and rhetorical tensions involved in bridging the supposed gap between science and poetry, and how, in his later career, he embraced the empirical method of scientific discovery while challenging the reductive assumptions of scientific materialism. In these specific ways Berger's study advances new understandings of Thoreau's purposes and accomplishments during his post-Walden career.
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