That Which Roars Further Out: Gardens and Wilderness in ‘The Man who Went too Far’ by E. F. Benson and ‘The Man Whom the Trees Loved’ by Algernon Blackwood.

Heholt, Ruth (2019) That Which Roars Further Out: Gardens and Wilderness in ‘The Man who Went too Far’ by E. F. Benson and ‘The Man Whom the Trees Loved’ by Algernon Blackwood. In: Uncanny EcoGothic Gardens. Manchester University Press, Manchester. ISBN unknown (In Press)

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Abstract / Summary

This chapter looks at un-easy and disrupted gardens in the supernatural stories; ‘The Man who Went too Far’ by E. F. Benson and ‘The Man Whom the Trees Loved’ by Algernon Blackwood. Both tales feature gardens that lie in the heart of the New Forest in Hampshire with the wilderness of the Forest at their borders and each follows the fate of a man who ‘goes too far’ in his desire to become at-one with nature. Remarkably similar in theme and tone, and published in the same year; 1912, I am going to examine these stories as a coincidental pair. At the heart of the stories lies the garden; bordered, vivid, beautiful and supposedly safe. These are human-sized spaces of cultivation and civilization. Attached to the houses, they are a continuation of the domestic space and should offer sanctuary, peace and security. However, we are in the land of the Gothic and therefore that which appears to be homely quickly becomes uncanny and unheimlich. The Forest that lies alongside the gardens is a wilderness space and the boundaries of the gardens are there to keep it at bay. Yet Nature in both tales does not recognise or respect human attempts at demarcation between the wild and the civilized; the non-human and the human. Both Benson and Blackwood break down these artificial binaries, showing the aliveness of Nature, be it roaring ‘further out’ in the wild Forest, or subtly (and perhaps slyly) residing in the ordered flower beds of the garden. In both spaces the consequences of straying too far are fatal, and the self will become lost.

Item Type: Book Chapter
ISBN: unknown
Subjects: Writing & Journalism > Literature
Writing & Journalism
Courses by Department: The School of Writing & Journalism > English & Writing
Depositing User: Ruth Heholt
Date Deposited: 10 May 2019 12:24
Last Modified: 10 May 2019 12:24
URI: http://repository.falmouth.ac.uk/id/eprint/3264

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