chapter  6
29 Pages


The tropes that have been examined so far contribute to the ways in which we understand nature, but from an ecocritical perspective they are all fundamentally impractical. Pastoral and wilderness tropes typically imply the perspective of the aesthetic tourist, while the apocalypse encodes the vision of a prophetic imagination. However, other literatures explore the possibility of coming to dwell on the earth in a relation of duty and responsibility. ‘Dwelling’ is not a transient state; rather, it implies the long-term imbrication of humans in a landscape of memory, ancestry and death, of ritual, life and work. This chapter will consider models of dwelling in the literature of farming known as ‘georgic’, before turning to the ‘primitive’ models supposed by some critics to exemplify authentic dwelling on earth.