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date: 20 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This article focuses on the idea of nature writing as adapted by the Transcendentalists. Henry David Thoreau is considered as the exponent of nature writing in American Transcendentalism. This article traces what nature writing is, what constitutes Transcendentalist nature writing, and why one author can be more successful at it than another. For more than a century some literary critics have bravely, if not fully convincingly, addressed these issues. One of the first twentieth-century commentators to do so, Philip Marshal Hicks, offered, in 1924, a very strict definition of the genre of nature writing. This article refers to the works of Thoreau and Emerson in relation to the genre of nature writing. Thoreau's occasion was the publication of a series of scientific reports issued by the state of Massachusetts, but he opened this essay with a moving meditation on the restorative powers of nature rather than with a mention of the reports' practical value.

Keywords: writing, nature writing, Marshal Hicks, Thoreau, Emerson, transcendentalist nature writing, literary critics

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