Sewanee English Professor John Gatta has just published a new book entitled Spirits of Place in American Literary Culture, with the Oxford University Press.
The book marks the culmination of a multi-year project in which Gatta has explored the question:
What might it mean, existentially and spiritually, for human beings to inhabit a particular site or dwelling place on this earth?
This new exploration, which combines literary analysis with pedagogical application and personal narrative, is the first of its kind to focus on American literary texts. The analysis explores a recent "fascination with the distinctive character of humankind's sense of place" which is evident in "the range of new interdisicplinary courses that have sprung up lately across the nation."
John Gatta's luminous book offers us a rewarding consideration of place in the finest writers in the American literary tradition--a garden of varied delights, sweet and pungent and sacred. But Gatta does not stop at analysis. He also traces a path of pilgrimage, and includes a chapter showing how education can incclude the work of place-making. The land has become ours; now we must learn to become the land's.
-Wilfred M. McClay, G.T. and Libby Blankenship Chair in the history of Liberty, University of Oklahoma
His new book is available at most major booksellers, and directly from Oxford University press here.
John Gatta is the William B. Kenan Jr. Professor of English at the University of the South. More information on his work can be found here.