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Literature and the Crime Against Nature

Literature and the Crime Against Nature

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At the outset of the third millennium, one problem towers above all others: how are we (as a species living what we think of as a civilized
life) to survive? How, that is, are we to continue to live in an overcrowded world whose finite resources are being rapidly exhausted and whose biological life support systems are close to breakdown? There is a widespread and fast-growing belief that tinkering with economics ('sustainable development') and local conservation measures (always too little and too late) are not enough; that what is needed is a revolution in our consciousness regarding our place in the natural world and our responsibilities towards it.

This book attempts to reassert the essential relationship between imagination, nature and human survival. Keith Sagar demonstrates, by close readings of major works by seventeen of the greatest writers, from Homer to Hughes, that literature has a central contribution to make in our efforts to discover what are the laws of nature and human nature, and to live within them.


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