2014 | 3 | 137-156
Article title

Neoarystoteliczna wizja natury ludzkiej w ekopoezji i eseistyce Gary’ego Snydera

Title variants
A Neo-Aristotelian Vision of Human Nature in the Writings of Gary Snyder
Languages of publication
Close-reading selected poems and essays by Gary Snyder, the article examines an apparent epistemological contradiction in Snyder’s environmentalist message. As a rule Snyder consistently relies on essentialist discourse, with his frequent references to human nature, the collective unconscious, mankind’s generic identity and man’s inner voice. In the poem The Call of the Wild, however, he questions man’s ability to retrieve a “natural” generic core through, say, meditation or vision quests. This apparent contradiction is resolved when one views Snyder’s work through the lens of Neo-Aristotelian thought as exemplified by Terry Eagleton’s concept of human nature. To Eagleton, like to Aristotle, human nature is not a static biological given, but rather a mental predisposition. Thus it is more of a task, or challenge, than a set of characteristics. Such ideas resonate with Snyder’s concept of the ever-changing human nature. However, Eagleton and Snyder pass company as fellow Neo-Aristotelians when it comes to the socio-political applications of their ideas. To the British critic, socialism is the answer, allegedly providing the optimal conditions for a harmonious blend of one’s private and public self. To Snyder, state-supported socialism is but another oppressive political system, very much in the mentally-restrictive tradition of what he calls “the Judaeo-Capitalist-Christian-Marxist West.”
  • Akademia Polonijna, Częstochowa
  • Bate, Jonathan (2000) The Song of the Earth. London: Picador.
  • Bloom, Alice (1990) „On a Greek Holiday”. [W:] Douglas Hunt (red.) The Dolphin Reader. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company; 344–351.
  • Bly, Robert (1991) American Poetry: Wildness and Domesticity. New York: HarperPerennial.
  • Eagleton, Terry (2003) After Theory. New York: Basic Books.
  • Eisler, Riane (1988) The Chalice and the Blade: Our History, Our Future. San Francisco: Harper & Row.
  • Elder, John (1996) Imagining the Earth: Poetry and the Vision of Nature. Athens, London: The University of Georgia Press.
  • Eliot, Thomas Stearns (1961) Selected Essays. London: Faber and Faber.
  • Gimbutas, Marija (2001) The Language of the Goddess. London: Thames & Hudson.
  • Hunt, Douglas (red.) (1990) The Dolphin Reader. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company.
  • Jeffers, Robinson (1956) Themes in My Poems. San Francisco: The Book Club of California.
  • Mander, Jerry (1990) „The Walling of Awareness”. [W:] Douglas Hunt (red.) The Dolphin Reader. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company; 309–320.
  • Murray, Charles (1990) „What’s So Bad about Being Poor?”. [W:] Douglas Hunt (red.) The Dolphin Reader. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company; 788–797.
  • Rorty, Richard (1989) Irony, Contingency, and Solidarity. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Snyder, Gary (1960) Myths & Texts. New York: New Directions.
  • Snyder, Gary (1969) Earth House Hold. New York: New Directions.
  • Snyder, Gary (1974) Turtle Island. New York: New Directions.
  • Snyder, Gary (1980) The Real Work: Interviews and Talks, 1964–1979. New York: New Directions.
  • Snyder, Gary (1990) The Practice of the Wild. San Francisco: North Point Press.
  • Stone, Merlin (1978) When God Was a Woman. San Diego, New York: Harcourt Brace.
Document Type
Publication order reference
YADDA identifier
JavaScript is turned off in your web browser. Turn it on to take full advantage of this site, then refresh the page.