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22gigantes.com - Scott Slovic has spent his life as a teacher, writer, environmental activist, and leader in the field of ecocritical literary studies. In Going Away to Think, he reflects on the twin motivations of his life—the commitment to do some good in the world and the impulse to enjoy life and participate fully in its most intense moments—and he examines the tension created by his efforts to balance these two poles of his responsibility. These essays reveal the complex inner life of one of this generation’s most important environmental critics and literary activists. They range from profound discussions of the role and responsibilities of scholarship to deeply personal ruminations on the impact of family crises and the influence of his wide-ranging travels.
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Most helpful customer reviews 1 of 1 people found the following review helpful. A series of articulate essays pondering the importance of balance and the environment By Midwest Book Personal indulgence and being environmentally friendly are often mutual exclusive. "Going Away to Think: Engagement, Retreat, and Ecocritical Responsibility" by Scott Slovic is one dedicated environmentalist's insightful ponderings about the world around him and how so often personal and societal indulgence leads to environmental turmoil, such as the high amount of jet fuel that airliners require and the damage this does to the ozone layer. A series of articulate essays pondering the importance of balance and the environment, "Going Away to Think" is informed and informative recommended reading for all environmental activists and non-specialist general readers with an interest in environmental issues. 0 of 0 people found the following review helpful. a heartfelt must-read for the environmentalist By C. B. St Hilaire Scott Slovic finds a perfect balance between scholarship and action in this engaging, personal, and heartfelt essay. He uses many examples to prove that language and communication are the backbone of creating positive environmental change. At the same time, he discusses the inner conflict of wanting to truly enjoy life and all its experiences while making the world a better place at the same time.Throughout the essay, the author takes us along on his many travels where he "goes away to think." He takes us to Oregon, Mexico, to a gated community in Nevada, and more--and weaves together a mixture of personal narrative, factual information, and an ecocritical analysis of other writers.This book is not only a necessary read for ecocritics, but also unlike most scholarly books labeled under the umbrella of "ecocriticism," it is completely accessible to even the general environmentalist. Slovic's writing style and narrative make this book completely inspirational and captivating. See all 2 customer reviews...
From Publishers Weekly In this uneven essay collection that veers between the pedantic and profound, Slovic looks through the lens of literature and life to examine the balance between activism and contemplation: the responsibility... to be fully present in this life and the responsibility... to be involved with the transgressions and the opportunities of my community. Some essays are almost purely didactic, such as Ecocriticism, which outlines essential but hardly earth-shattering strategies for ecological writing: storytelling, values (a rejection of supposed scholarly neutrality), communication (so much literary scholarship is unreadable garbage) and contact. At other times Slovic is subtle, poetic and provocative, as in Be Prepared for the Worst, a deeply moving warning against the sweet sadness of future remorse that demonstrates how a personal worst—the death of Slovic's own child, for example—holds more emotional sharpness than hugely tragic but slow-moving, large, systemic patterns like ecological deterioration. Despite the academic tone, Slovic's struggle to engage meaningfully with humanity and art in order to fight for a natural world he loves will resonate with readers grappling with their own balancing acts between the personal and planetary. (Sept.) Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. “Many will read Going Away to Think and have the same reaction I had--recognizing the tensions they’ve felt without consciously identifying or being able to articulate them before. . . These issues have never been so well articulated or identified. Most of all, the book demonstrates how all these conflicting purposes and desires can be synthesized, balanced, brought into a conjunction that is beautiful in its creativity, startling in its clear-sighted intelligence, utterly convincing, and thoroughly moving.” --Ian Marshall, author of Peak Experiences: Walking Meditations on Literature, Nature, and Need“What is the relationship between literature and the world, between art and activism? . . . What is ‘ecocritical responsibility’? In this beautifully written, inspiring book, Scott Slovic takes these questions on with fearlessness, sensitivity, and grace. The answers he posits are--without question--the most satisfying and insightful to date.” --Joni Adamson, coeditor of The Environmental Justice Reader"By telling his own stories, Slovic illuminates the nature of nature writing, its power to inspire attentiveness to our place in the world—and he invites us to get out there and experience the natural world for ourselves." -- Western American Literature (Linda Underhill Western American Literature) About the Author Scott Slovic is a professor of Literature and Environment at the University of Nevada, Reno. The author, editor, or coeditor of many books, his research specialties include American environmental literature, the relation between narrative discourse and environmental values, autobiography and environmental experience, and environmental rhetoric. He earned his B.A. from Stanford University (1983) and his M.A. and Ph.D. from Brown University (1986, 1990). He was the founding president of the Association for the Study of Literature and Environment, and has edited ISLE: Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and Environment since 1995.
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