Masters Thesis

The effects of literature as a guidebook: reimagining landscapes through Barry Lopez’s Desert Notes

In “The American Geographies,” Barry Lopez characterizes the Western world’s exploitation of the environment as due to its superficial "knowledge of the real dimensions of the land it occupies." In my thesis, I analyze how Lopez utilizes unique narrative forms and multiperspectival approaches to offer his audience a space to reverse this predicament. By tracking his use of these literary devices, I illustrate how Lopez brings the landscape to the foreground as both his story's reality and a metaphor for the reader's landscape to guide them towards refamiliarizing themselves with each.