By Katrina Schimmoeller Peiffer

ISBN-10: 087480664X

ISBN-13: 9780874806649

Coyote at huge shatters the misperception that nature writing-works that appear constrained to expressing traditional awe, reverence, piety, and wonder-is a humorless style. during this very important and stunning e-book , Katrina Peiffer unearths and explores the comedy and humor lengthy neglected in conventional and modern environmental literature. Edward Abbey, Louise Erdrich, Wendell Berry, and Rachel Carson, whom the writer dubs "comic moralist," command middle degree during this examine. yet in playful textual interludes, the trickster-coyote of local American mythology look within the wings, roaming at huge throughout the prose and poetry of Simon Ortiz, Ursula Le Guin, Sally Carrighar, and Gary Snyder, proving a routine analog of ways comedy and humor exhibit themselves within the greater canon of yank nature writings. energetic writing coupled with a delightfully wily strategy make Coyote at huge an enticing and enlightening learn for ecocritics in addition to scholars of yankee literature.

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Extra resources for Coyote at Large: Humor in American Nature Writing

Sample text

That was real Coyote luck, a blonde girl and a ginger cake (101). Because he knows Coyote, the speaker has a history to help him understand this crazy and fortuitous situation. Coyote stories are a touchstone; with them he can track his own experience. The girl says she and her family raise goats and make good money that way—and goats can even be well-behaved. The speaker, whose family has also raised goats, disagrees, though his two-sentence response is so mild it hardly contests her assertion.

He confesses, ▼ Coyote Storyteller, Simon Ortiz I had to tell Rex the dog to cool it a couple of times. He and I were alone a lot that summer, and we were anxious but we kept our cool (102). He does not try anything. After they have a good talk about goats and the speaker’s writing, the girl makes a cordial departure. That unexpected and innocent rendezvous has a conclusive ending, for she is set to leave the next day for Denver and ultimately headed to Boston for med school; there will never be a chance by that campfire to get to know her better.

The tall tale arranged for nature to be a backdrop, stunning but secondary, a setting for the human agent to strut or ride in. There is only one sense in which nature got to “speak” via tall talk: the voice of the tall tale is thoroughly associated with the vernacular, abundant with earthy figures of speech. But if nature were emblematic for early Americans, they read in it their own image. Women’s humor may have domesticity closer at hand, but because it focuses on contesting a male-dominated society its valuable energies may not come to center on nature.

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Coyote at Large: Humor in American Nature Writing by Katrina Schimmoeller Peiffer

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