Embracing the intersectional methodological outlook of the environmental humanities, the contributors to this edited collection explore the entanglements of cultures, ecologies, and socio-ethical issues in the roles of trees and their relationships with humans through narratives in literature and art.
Carmen Concilio is associate professor at the University of Turin.
Daniela Fargione is assistant professor at the University of Turin.
Part I Human-Tree Kinship
Chapter 1: On Becoming-Tree. An Alter-native, Arbo-real Line of Flight in World Literatures in English
Chapter 2: Pacific Perspectives of the Anthropocene: Trees and Human Relationships
Chapter 3: Becoming-botanic: Vegetal Forms of Mourning in Deborah Levy’s Swimming Home and Han Kang’s The Vegetarian
Chapter 4: Russian Bodies, Russian Trees: Examples of Interconnections between the Tree of the Motherland and the Soviet People
Part II Spiritual Trees
Chapter 5: Trees as the Masters of Monks. Some Observations on the Role of Trees in The Sayings of the Desert Fathers
Chapter 6: The Ash-Tree as ‘Unwobbling Pivot’ in Pound’s Early and Late Poetry
Chapter 7: Seamus Heaney’s Arboreal Poetry
Chapter 8: Between Ecology and Ritual. Images of New Zealand Trees in Grace, Finlayson, Hilliard and Sargeson
Chapter 9: The Tree that Therefore I Am. Humans, Trees and Gods in Cosimo Terlizzi’s Cinema
Part III Trees in/and Literatures
Chapter 10: Flora J. Cooke’s Tree Stories: Progressive Education and Nature in Late Nineteenth- and Early Twentieth-Century United States
Chapter 11: Talking Trees in Amazonian “Novels of the Jungle”
Chapter 12: Gardens of Hell, Trees of Death: For a Poetics of Urban Nature in the Lyrics of George Bacovia
Chapter 13: The Poetization of the Exotic in Early 20th Century Russian Literature: Nikolaj Gumilëv’s Palm Tree
Part IV Trees in the Arts
Chapter 14: Mother Sequoia. Awaiting an Imperceptible Enlightenment Among Millennial Trees Chapter 15: Performing with Spruce Stumps and Old Tjikko. On the Individuality of Trees
Chapter 16: Tuning and Being Tuned by a Patch of Boreal Forest: Works from the Boreal Poetry Garden, Newfoundland, Canada
Part V Trees and Time
Chapter 17: Tree Photography, Arboreal Timescapes and the Archive in Richard Powers’s The Overstory
Chapter 18: Family Trees: Mnemonics, Genealogy, Identity and Cultural Memory
Comprised of eighteen eloquently written chapters that elucidate the time-honored kinship between human and vegetal life, Trees in Literatures and the Arts is a fascinating book on human-tree coevolutionary relations. The emerging collective argument is that, examined with their symbolic and cultural meanings in literary texts, arts, and cultural narratives, these relations can enhance ecological consciousness and eradicate anthropocentrism in the ‘humanarboreal’ story.
In Trees in Literature and the Arts, Carmen Concilio and Daniela Fargione have gathered a wide array of interdisciplinary contributions from international scholars in the Environmental Humanities. Whether through close analyses of texts, artworks and visual media, or through the anthropological study of material practices, every essay in this volume uniquely argues that the interaction between trees and humans, across time and space, has been essential to the imagination of sustainable multispecies worlds where shared flourishing is possible. Surely, this is reason enough to read this inspiring and insightful book, whose multifaceted visions of humanarboreal relations are well worth sharing with students and friends alike.