Nature trauma: ecology and the returning soldier in First World War English and Scottish fiction, 1918-1932’

Walton, S (2019) 'Nature trauma: ecology and the returning soldier in First World War English and Scottish fiction, 1918-1932’.' Journal of Medical Humanities. ISSN 1041-3545

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10912-019-09591-9

Abstract

Nature has been widely represented in literature and culture as healing, redemptive, unspoilt, and restorative. In the aftermath of the First World War, writers grappled with long cultural associations between nature and healing. Having survived a conflict in which relations between people, and the living environment had been catastrophically ruptured, writers asked: could rural and wild places offer meaningful sites of solace and recovery for traumatised soldiers? In Virginia Woolf’s 'Mrs Dalloway' (1925), Rebecca West’s 'The Return of the Soldier' (1918), Nan Shepherd’s 'The Weatherhouse' (1930) and Lewis Grassic Gibbon’s 'Sunset Song' (1932), trauma severs emotional, social, and cultural relationships with the natural world. These interwar literatures offer counter-narratives to simplistic depictions of nature as a healing space and highlight the difficulties of returning to rural environments and ‘reconnecting’ with known and natural places.

Item Type: Article
Note:

Planned as part of a special issue entitled 'Traumatextualities: trauma in the clinical, arts and humanities contexts'.

Keywords: ecology, trauma, interwar fiction, warfare, ecocriticism
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General) > PN0441 Literary History
P Language and Literature > PR English literature
Divisions: School of Humanities
UoA: English Literature & Language
Identification Number: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10912-019-09591-9
Date Deposited: 07 Mar 2017 00:53
Last Modified: 15 Aug 2021 09:45
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