Story Line: Exploring the Literature of the Appalachian Trail (Under the Sign of Nature: Explorations in Ecocriticism) (Paperback)

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A tasty blend of literary criticism, ecocriticism, and narrative with a dash of a travel guide and a pinch of humor. Ian Marshall's story line should appeal to anyone interested in the geography, history, and literature of the Appalachian Trail. Great for literary minded thru-hikers!


Many hikers on the Appalachian Trail take books as companions, in spite of the extra weight in their packs, but Ian Marshall carries the habit to new literary, ecological, and spiritual heights. In the more than twenty years he's been hiking the trail, Marshall, known on the AT as Evergreen, has practiced what he likes to call "an ecology of reading," exploring America's past, its landscape and national experience, through literature inspired by places in the Appalachian chain: "a literary heritage," he writes, "of interest to scholars and hikers alike, both seekers of a sort."

As he walks the trail from Georgia to Maine, Marshall brings together his own stories, heard and experienced along the trail, with the stories of those who, famous and otherwise, are part of the literary geography of each region--William Bartram, Annie Dillard, Thomas Jefferson, Whitman, Melville, Frost, Hawthorne, and Thoreau. Like notes left behind for other thru-hikers, their writings, seen through Marshall's eyes, plot a fresh "story line" of America's literary and ecological history. As he passes through the Great Smoky Mountains, the Blue Ridge, the Delaware Water Gap, Greylock, the Greens and the Whites, to Ktaadn, Marshall takes us on a vision quest into our national character, from Native American myths through colonial America's economic and theological preoccupations, the aesthetic of Manifest Destiny, to our contemporary ecological awareness. This is book talk taken out of the classroom and onto the trail.

About the Author

Ian Marshall, Professor of English at Penn State Altoona, is author of Peak Experiences: Walking Meditations on Literature, Nature, and Need

Product Details
ISBN: 9780813917986
ISBN-10: 0813917980
Publisher: University of Virginia Press
Publication Date: April 29th, 1998
Pages: 284
Language: English
Series: Under the Sign of Nature: Explorations in Ecocriticism
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