THE CRISIS OF MODERNITY:
CULTURE, NATURE, AND THE MODERNIST
YEARNING FOR AUTHENTICITY
Dissertation zur Erlangung der Würde
einer Doktorin der Philosophie
vorgelegt der Philosophisch-Historischen Fakultät
der Universität Basel
der Faculté des Lettres, Langues et Sciences Humaines
der Universität Orléans
Genehmigt von der Philosophisch-Historischen Fakultät der Universität Basel, auf Antrag von Prof. Dr. Hartwig Isernhagen (Universität Basel), Prof. Dr. Thomas Pughe (Universität Orléans), Prof. Dr. Yves-Charles Grandjeat (Universität Brodeaux III) und Prof. Dr. Werner Brönnimann (Universität St. Gallen).
Basel, den 6. Juli 2004
Prof. Dr. Annelies Häcki Buhofer.
The research and writing of this study were assisted by the generous financial support of the Swiss National Science Foundation and the Uarda Frutiger Foundation. For their trusting generosity, I am very grateful. Their fellowships took me to the University of Oregon, Eugene, where I was warmly welcomed by a remarkable community of "green" scholars. I owe a debt of gratitude to Prof. Louise Westling, who gave me valuable suggestions, encouragement and guidance. For conversation and companionship I must thank the members of the Mesa Verde (in- and outdoors) research group and Prof. George Wickes. For supporting my work, I would like to thank the James Fenimore Cooper Foundation. The Rectors' Conference of the Swiss Universities favoured me with a fellowship making possible the collaboration between the University of Basel and the University of Orléans. For their financial support, I am grateful. I am grateful also to the careful readings and the valuable reactions Prof. Thomas Pughe has given to various drafts of this study. Special thanks are due also to Prof. Hartwig Isernhagen, who has provided crucial support, advocacy and literary advice. I am also deeply indebted to my family for support and encouragement beyond description. Finally, I want to thank Xavier, whose varied contributions and generosity helped me along the pathways of research.
1.1. Modernism: Di- and Convergences
1.1.1. Modernity and Crisis
1.1.2. Formalism as a Redemption of the Crisis of Modernity
1.1.3. A Pathology of Modernity
1.1.4. "Cancer and Delirium": Henry Miller's Diagnosis of Modernity
1.1.5. Henry Miller's Response to the Modernist "Universe of Death"
1.1.6. "The English Death": Lawrence Durrell's Diagnosis of Modernity
1.2. Ecocriticism: An Environmental Response to Modernity
1.2.1. Ecocriticism: Rethinking Cultural Conceptions of the Nonhuman World
2.MODERN CULTURE'S DUALISTIC CONCEPTIONS OF THE PHYSICAL
2.1. Metropolis: Modern Imaginations of Urban Environments
2.2. Miller and Durrell's Images of the Urban Waste Land
2.2.1. Paris versus New York
2.2.2. Diseased Habitats
2.3. Seasonal Dysfunctions and Circular Time
2.3.1. Oriental Time and Western Concepts of Linearity
2.3.2. Mechanical Time and Social Control
2.4. Rationality and Self-Analysis
2.4.2. The Dissected Organism
3. BACK TO NATURE
3.1. Nature as Antithesis of Culture
3.2. 'Simulacra of Life'
3.3. 'Nature's Flawed Mirror': Rhetorical and Representational Restrictions
3.3.1. From Universal Identity to Difference
3.4. Pastoral Instances in The Black Book: England, Corfu, Tibet 3.4.1. Tarquin's Pastoral Ideals
3.4.2. Corfu: Arcadia or Artifice?
3.5. Miller's American Pastoral
3.5.1. An Anti-Pastoral Critique of the American Environmental Imagination
3.5.2. "A sort of divine stuttering"
3.5.3. An Urban Pastoral
References: language is crystallized insofar as "the genesis of the cosmos already contains highly
configured and densely conjunctive elements that at least portend logos" (1998:5).
world it seems to be trying to say something. (1993:238)
Clearly, these assumptions suggest that an authentic experience of primordial nature cannot
Irigaray describes this model as follows: "L 'indit ou l 'indicible d 'un rapport de l 'homme à une nature
échappant à son logos" (1983:129).
vie? Un autre vivant? Ne s 'est-il pas exercé, jusqu 'à présent, sur un mode d 'appropriation captatrice plutôt que
sur celui d 'un échange—et de vie?"(1983:141).
imitation of nature because "appearing nature wants silence" (1997:69). Not surprisingly then,
he claims that "[a]s indeterminate, as antithetical to definitions, natural beauty is indefinable"
Please join StudyMode to read the full document