|email@example.com||# Posted on March 18, 2014 at 13:45|
Rackham draws an important and clear distinction between ecology and pseudo ecology, and his fundamental argument is powerfully made.
It is vital to note that many of the literary writers who he cites are not historical ecologists and are not attempting to be. When they write about past natures they are doing so for quite different purposes and in a quite different register and mode to that which historical ecologists are attempting. Just as it is wrong to use literary sources uncritically as a tool for historical ecology, so it is perhaps beside the point to accuse literary authors of getting the historical ecology wrong. This is not to disagree with Rackham’s analysis but to suggest that it is only potent when aimed at those who profess to be writing accurate historical ecology, not to those who are writing in different literary modes. Dante would be the most obvious example here.
Rackham’s exegesis of the fact that deforestation was not widespread in Greece until the 20th century is important, and serves as a salutary tale warning against making assumptions about landscape history.
Reply To: Mon 17 March: Greece and Revisionist Environmental History
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