Raintree County, the Foremost American Environmental Novel. Uncovering the Deep Message of an Undervalued Text

Author: Waage, Fred
Year:2011
Pages:300
ISBN:0-7734-1516-5
978-0-7734-1516-4
Price:139.95

Nominated for the Popular Culture Association/American Culture Association's 2012 Ray and Pat Browne Award for Best Reference/Primary Source Work in Popular and American Culture
For those who’ve lost sight of Raintree County, this study serves as a valuable reminder that the novel, as a uniquely crafted work of literature, is still able to bowl readers over with the power and grace of Lockridge’s prose. More important, Waage provides abundant and convincing evidence to support his assertion that it is, in fact the “foremost ‘environmental novel’” of the last century.

Reviews

“…for academic readers, it has signified one of the most ambitious literary efforts ever to attempt to capture and convey the “myth” of the United States. Spanning 48 years (albeit achronologically)—before, during, and after the Civil War…” -Dr. Barbara Stedman, Ball State University

Table of Contents

Foreword
Preface
A Note on Text and Documentation
Introduction: The Environment and Raintree County
Environmental Reading
Chapter I: The Life of Raintree County
The Author’s Life
The Story’s Life
The Life Within the Story
A Synopsistic Experiment
Chapter II: The 1940s: Raintree County’s National Context
Environmentalism and Ecology in the U.S. 1940s
Chapter III: Indiana’s 1940s
Indiana from Above
Indiana on the Ground
Indiana from the Countryside
Chapter IV: The Earth of Raintree County
The Earth Itself
Earth as Myth
Streamdivided Earth
Names on the Land
Earth and Humanity
Biota
Chapter V: Bioregional Raintree County
1940s Bioregional Fiction: Theory and Practice
The Shapes
Timeless and Lost
Map and Atlas
Wordseed
Nature and Culture
Come Back
Regionalism Beyond Raintree County
Chapter VI: The Ecofeminism of Raintree County
Birth
River Girl—River Goddess
Dark Lady
The Four “E”’s
Body as Earth, Earth as Body
The Problem
Chapter VII: Sacred Earth, Pagan Earth
Varieties of Religious Experience
Sex as Act of Faith
Origin
Revival
The Swamp
Chapter VIII: The Threat of Technology
The Bomb
The Flash
Rails
Cash
Cities of War
Cities of Peace
Brown Decades and Metropolitan Adventures
Chapter IX: The Self and The Republic
Personal Identity
Johnny
Eva
Garwood
T.D. and Ellen
Susanna
Laura
Nell
Chapter X: Raintree County and the Republic
Defining the Republic: Idea and Myth
Defining the Republic: War and Technology
Defining the Republic: Earth Itself
Conclusion: Let There Be Only the Earth
Bibliography