The earth is a primal resource of human imagination; its conceptual and creative tie to literature is pervasive, in part, because of the profound ambiguity of our relationship to it. Home and prison, earth holds in bondage the life it sustains. The paradox of life as freedom and life as bondage gives rise to the conflicting task of holding to the good earth, yet becoming free of it. This paradox and conflicting effort forms a basic pattern in western thought. A deep ambivalence and generative tension frames metaphors in literature from the earliest mythic and creation stories to the most recent poetry. We will examine some of the best known poetic expressions within western literature to discern the reflective character and lessons that this literature brings to our understanding of the human condition and cultural project.
Document Object Identifier (DOI)
Kimmel, L. (2001). And Unto Dust Return: The Remembered Earth. Analecta Husserliana, 71, 33-46.