Document Type

Thesis - University Access Only

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department / School



There is a striking similarity in the perception of nature in two very different authors: Annie Dillard, a U.S. nature writer, and Jose Maria Arguedas, a Peruvian neoindigenist author. Both seem extraordinarily sensitive to the possibility of nature as an agent and as inspirited. A survey of the presence of nature in literature in the Americas and of its place in both Native and European American religion forms the introduction. Dillard's life and work are next reviewed and examined, followed by an exploration of critical approaches that may uncover the source of the similarity to Arguedas: her difference from Emerson and Thoreau, a feminist approach to epistemology, mysticism, and ecocriticism. A review of Arguedas' life and work follows, including a word about the Quechua belief system. Next his place in the intellectual movement indigenismo, or Indigenism, is discussed, along with his status as a "transcultured" person. The conclusion finds that both authors work from positions outside rational thought or objective reality, that is, outside the realm of "Euroscience."

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Dillard, Annie -- Criticism and interpretation

Arguedas, Jose Maria -- Criticism and interpretation

Nature in literature



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University