Going Away to Think
Engagement, Retreat, and Ecocritical Responsibility

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Author: Scott Slovic

Format: Paper
Pages: 264
ISBN: 9780874177565
Published Date: 2008

Scott Slovic has spent his life as a teacher, writer, environmental activist, and leader in the field of ecocritical literary studies. In Going Away to Think, he reflects on the twin motivations of his life—the commitment to do some good in the world and the impulse to enjoy life and participate fully in its most intense moments—and he examines the tension created by his efforts to balance these two poles of his responsibility. These essays reveal the complex inner life of one of this generation’s most important environmental critics and literary activists. They range from profound discussions of the role and responsibilities of scholarship to deeply personal ruminations on the impact of family crises and the influence of his wide-ranging travels.

Author Bio
Scott Slovic is a professor of Literature and Environment at the University of Nevada, Reno. The author, editor, or coeditor of many books, his research specialties include American environmental literature, the relation between narrative discourse and environmental values, autobiography and environmental experience, and environmental rhetoric. He earned his B.A. from Stanford University (1983) and his M.A. and Ph.D. from Brown University (1986, 1990). He was the founding president of the Association for the Study of Literature and Environment, and has edited ISLE: Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and Environment since 1995.

“Many will read Going Away to Think and have the same reaction I had--recognizing the tensions they’ve felt without consciously identifying or being able to articulate them before. . . These issues have never been so well articulated or identified. Most of all, the book demonstrates how all these conflicting purposes and desires can be synthesized, balanced, brought into a conjunction that is beautiful in its creativity, startling in its clear-sighted intelligence, utterly convincing, and thoroughly moving.” --Ian Marshall, author of Peak Experiences: Walking Meditations on Literature, Nature, and Need

“What is the relationship between literature and the world, between art and activism? . . . What is ‘ecocritical responsibility’? In this beautifully written, inspiring book, Scott Slovic takes these questions on with fearlessness, sensitivity, and grace. The answers he posits are--without question--the most satisfying and insightful to date.” --Joni Adamson, coeditor of The Environmental Justice Reader

"This is a thinking man's book. You are well-advised to wear your seat-belt at all times." — Wild Blue Yonder

"Slovic's struggle to engage meaningfully with humanity and art in order to fight for a natural world he loves will resonate with readers grappling with their own balancing acts between the personal and planetary." — Publisher's Weekly

"...Recommended reading for all environmental activists and non-specialist general readers with an interest in environmental issues." — The Midwest Book Review