Willa Cather's Ecological Imagination

By Susan J. Rosowski | Go to book overview

Nature and Human Nature
Interdisciplinary Convergences
on Cather's Blue Mesa

GLEN A. LOVE

[T]here should be no watertight compartments
between the fields of human knowledge. Not
necessarily because Everything is One; but because,
to deal with everything,
Homo Cogitans has Only
One Mind.

— Helen Couclelis, “Philosophy in the Construction
of Geographical Reality”

Human nature is a dead idea. Efforts to uncover a
fundamental biological component to human
behavior are based on an unsophisticated
understanding of both culture and science and
contribute little to our exploration of human society.
This is an assertion that many scholars would readily
agree with, but is it true?

— Andrew Kirk and John Herron, Human/Nature

For the prospective interdisciplinarian, the cluster of ideas surrounding the terms place and human nature increasingly offers literary scholars across-field entry into interesting territory. To begin with place, Aristotle announced in his Physics that “the power of place will be remarkable.” 1 Many writers— George Eliot, Mark Twain, Sherwood Anderson, Willa Cather, Sinclair Lewis, D. H. Lawrence, Eudora Welty, Ernest Hemingway, Laurence Durrell, N. Scott Momaday, Leslie Marmon Silko,

-1-

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