Sandian pastoral: for a feminine ec(h)ology

By Claire Vallois

Recognized in our time as one of the pioneers of literary “green realism” as well as one of the first to introduce ecological “magic realism” in her Contes d’une grand-mère (A Grandmother’s Tales), George Sand also opened the way, in her autobiography, Histoire de ma vie (Story of My Life) for what we now classify under the rubric “ecopsychology”. In this book, Sand reaches back to archaic anecdotes of her relationship with her mother who transmitted to her love and her deep awareness of nature. The daughter of a “bird-catcher”, her mother, like an ancient fairy/sorceress, gives her the magic key to the mysteries of mother earth that modern ecologists no longer fear to call in solidarity with, and as an echo of, indigenous people, Gaia, the Great Mother.

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