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From New Orleans to New York, from London to Paris to Venice, many of the world's great cities were built on wetlands and swamps. Cities and Wetlands is the first book to explore the literary and cultural histories of these cities and their relationships to their environments and buried histories. Developing a ground-breaking new mode of psychoanalytic ecology and surveying a wide range of major cities in North America and Europe, ecocritic and activist Rod Giblett shows how the wetland origins of these cities haunt their later literature and culture and might prompt us to reconsider the relationship between human culture and the environment.
Cities covered include: Berlin, Boston, Chicago, Hamburg, London, New Orleans, New York, Paris, St. Petersburg, Toronto, Venice and Washington.
1. Introduction: Looking Back, Looking Forward
2. Aquaterrapolises: Swamp cities and marsh metropolises
II EUROPEAN CITIES AND WETLANDS
3. Paris: or Lutetia, 'the filthy marsh'
4. London: The 'nether world' of 'the city of dreadful night'
5. Venice: 'A tropical marshland, steaming, monstrous, rank'
6. Berlin: 'A dingy city in a marsh'
7. Hamburg: 'This marshy, watery city'
8. St Petersburg: 'Marooned on the Neva's marsh delta'
III NORTH AMERICAN CITIES AND WETLANDS
9. New York: Set in 'a mosquito-infested swamp'
10. Boston: and the Back Bay Fens
11. New Orleans: The swamp is no place for a city
12. Toronto: 'Set in malarial lakeside swamps'
13. Washington: 'A discouraging site bordered by a swamp'
14. Chicago: 'Built in the midst of a great level swamp'
IV MORE BEGINNINGS
15. Conclusion: The city as body, the earth as body and the body as earth
Rod Giblett has published many studies of environmental cultures. He is currently researching and writing a book called Modern Melbourne: CIty and Site of Nature and Culture.