Friday, November 11, 2011

Excerpt from Natural Theologies introduction: defining the West

This book of critical essays about contemporary literature of the American grasslands region begins with an essay that defines the region, and then introduces settler and Indigenous writers with themes of frontier, settlement, people, and nature.
"The landmass known as the West or Middle West or Grasslands or Great and Lesser Plains is an area first conceived by European Americans as a frontier zone. Subsequent histories and American Indian perspectives complicate representations of this region, as contemporary and recent 20th century writers rework themes of history, settlement, personal identity, and theology. Despite the complexities, these writers return to a fundamental truth unaltered by any human constructions: the natural world persists as the defining characteristic of the region."