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Solvejg Nitzke

Abstract

During the second half of the long 19th century „precarious nature" moves to the center of a variety of popular discourses. The increasing visibility of and reflection on the human manipulation and destruction of nature is equally important for an understanding of precarious nature as is the publicly received progress of science and the social transformation caused by industrialization and accompanying processes. All these fields create versions of human-nature- relations and of 'natural' lifestyles and -forms under increasingly precarious conditions. Precarious nature provides a perspective which allows for the recognition of the dual conditioning of nature in literature, popular science and personal as well as travel narratives and the analysis of its part in the production of affective, discursive and material environments. Ecological story-telling is a vital force which produces a specific proto-ecological knowledge in representations of village-home and forest-wilderness. Liminal spaces between nature and culture thus can be recognized as privileged sites of the negotiation of human-nature-relationships.