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A Merging of Nature and Culture: California's Ecological Pastoral in Jack London's The Valley of the Moon

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Authors
Lee, Dong-hwan
Issue Date
2009
Publisher
서울대학교 미국학연구소
Citation
미국학, Vol.32 No.1, pp. 3-41
Keywords
EcologyPastoral IdealCaliforniaJack LondonThe Valley of the MoonNature and CulturePragrratism
Abstract
His early animal stories suggest that Jack London was interested in his contemporary eugenics illustrating the birth of superior creatures through blood-mixture. After going through depressive prescriptions of corporatized America at the turn of the 191Os, the fictive experiment of heterogeneous encounters has been crystallized again in the form of a merged pastoral vision of nature and culture in the Valley of the Moon, This novel transforms the traditional pastoral-which focuses on belated eulogies of the lost Golden Age and criticisms on modern civilizotion-into a more ecologically sustainable version in terms of its openness to diversities in the specific natural context. Billy and Saxon Roberts leave their wearisome life of the Oakland working class to search for their own Arcadia outside modern day urban tribulations. Through their peregrination around mid-to-northern part of California. they recognized that neither thoughtless sheer joy in the wilds nor beautiful despite exploited field could not. satisfy what they really want to configure in the form of pastoral impulse. By incorporating heterogeneities within their discovered wild beauty in the Sonoma Valley. they have merged civilizing touches with the wild beauty to materialize their authentic pastoral by hiring Chinese workers and importing new agricultural technologies. The presence of natural beauty even after their pragmatic land use signifies that ecological sustainability is still intact. Thus London's quest for a heterogeneous but harmonious beauty is also linked to imagining ecologically meaningful pastoral. It is the very salient point. of his ecological awareness
ISSN
1229-4381
Language
English
URI
http://hdl.handle.net/10371/88633
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Researcher Institutes (연구소)American Studies Institute (미국학연구소)미국학미국학 Volume 32 Number 1/2 (2009)
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