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Rivers and water quality in the work of Brian Clarke and Ted Hughes

Gifford, T (2008) 'Rivers and water quality in the work of Brian Clarke and Ted Hughes.' Concentric: Literary and Cultural Studies, 34 (1). pp. 75-91. ISSN 1729-8792

Abstract

The English poet Ted Hughes (1930-1998) and novelist Brian Clarke(1938- ) were both fisherman whose art celebrated river life but also expressed concerns about river pollution, Hughes in his acclaimed poetry collection River(1983) and Clarke in his environmental novel The Stream(2000). These two writers have penetrated deeply into British culture with their profound insights. Indeed, this essay argues that when fishermen are also creative writers, culture can intervene on behalf of nature; that is, when nature is thus constructed for literary readers, culture becomes nature’s own means of helping the human animal adjust to its place within the natural world. Here, then, the artistic achievements of these two writers are directly tied to their scientifically informed backgrounds as well as to their experience with writing in other modes, journalistic and polemical, as well as fictional and poetic ones. This reconnection of all aspects of an artist’s work—the linking of art and activism, science and imaginative writing, aesthetics and environmental education—has important implications for cultural and literary studies. There is, after all, an urgent need to heal the rift between scientific and artistic modes of knowing in our confrontation with an environmental crisis—here more specifically the issue of water quality—that threatens the life of every living creature on the planet.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > B Philosophy (General)
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BH Aesthetics
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > G Geography (General)
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GB Physical geography
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GF Human ecology. Anthropogeography
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GT Manners and customs
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GV Recreation Leisure
P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General)
P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General) > PN0080 Criticism
P Language and Literature > PR English literature
Q Science > Q Science (General)
Divisions: College of Liberal Arts
Date Deposited: 12 Jul 2017 21:34
Last Modified: 12 Jul 2017 21:34
URI: http://researchspace.bathspa.ac.uk/id/eprint/8954
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