Date of Award

1-1-2016

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.A.

Department

English

First Advisor

Bin Ramke

Abstract

My Masters thesis offers literary pastoralism as a viable entry into the conversation on psychedelic plants and their use in mind-alteration by the industrialized West. I will, first, establish that the ancient pastoral tradition can be related to the existence of psychedelic plants, and that the use of such plants has inspired a deeper communion with various levels of the natural world. Next, my analysis focuses on parallels between pastoral literature and accounts of psychedelic hallucinations, which are often comprised of ultra-pastoral visions of landscapes, arabesques, and even cosmic space. These similarities suggest that psychedelic plants initiate a peculiar and remarkable pastoral encounter with what becomes a non-natural, industrial reality. The question of obtaining a more cerebral relationship to an abandoned natural world is examined in literary figures including William Blake, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Charles Baudelaire, and Aldous Huxley. A review of the ties between the cerebral and the natural throughout these authors' psychedelic and pastoral works will open our own 21st century doors of perception to a new literary mode uniting the two disciplines.

Provenance

Recieved from ProQuest

Rights holder

Amy Nicole Buck

File size

91 p.

File format

application/pdf

Language

en

Discipline

Literature

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