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Where the wild books are : A field guide to ecofiction

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Abstract

As interest in environmental issues grows, many writers of fiction have embraced themes that explore the connections between humans and the natural world. Ecologically themed fiction ranges from profound philosophical meditations to action-packed entertainments. Where the Wild Books Are offers an overview of nearly 2,000 works of nature-oriented fiction. The author includes a discussion of the precursors and history of the genre, and of its expansion since the 1970s. He also considers its forms and themes, as well as the subgenres into which it has evolved, such as speculative fiction, ecodefense, animal stories, mysteries, ecofeminist novels, cautionary tales, and others. A brief summary and critical commentary of each title is included. Dwyer's scope is broad and covers fiction by Native American writers as well as ecofiction from writers around the world. Far more than a mere listing of books, Where the Wild Books Are is a lively introduction to a vast universe of engaging, provocative writing. It can be used to develop book collections or curricula. It also serves as an introduction to one of the most fertile areas of contemporary fiction, presenting books that will offer enjoyable reading and new insights into the vexing environmental questions of our time.
... En sus extensas obras literarias, ambas autoras han abordado preocupaciones surgidas de sus entornos locales para abordar problemáticas globales: desde el desplazamiento y el exilio como efecto de conflictos locales e internacionales, hasta el impacto de la actividad humana sobre el ecosistema del planeta. Las obras que son el objeto del presente análisis indagan en los vínculos entre crisis ambiental y social en las comunidades mineras ahí retratadas, y por lo tanto se pueden considerar obras de "eco-ficción", definida por Jim Dwyer (2010) como ficción que trata las relaciones entre la humanidad y su entorno físico y que varía en la medida en que cuestiones ecológicas constituyen el enfoque primario o el fondo temático de la trama (p. 2). ...
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este artículo analiza la relación entre degradación ambiental y crisis social en dos eco-ficciones americanas recientes: La novia oscura (1999) de Laura Restrepo y Le Club des miracles relatifs (2016) de Nancy Huston. Adoptando un acercamiento comparatista y ecocrítico, el análisis demuestra las intersecciones entre la consciencia ecológica y las estrategias narrativas que se observan en estas dos narrativas que presentan crisis ambientales y sociales fundadas en las relaciones entre degradación ambiental, masculinidades hegemónicas y violencia de género. El análisis concluye con una discusión de esta tríada en relación a las ecologías naturales, culturales y humanas de las dos novelas.
... The agency of nature is present in McCarthy's and Repše's texts, following the stipulation expressed by Lawrence Buell that in environmental literary texts " the nonhuman environment must be envisaged not merely as a framing device but as an active presence " (2009: 25). This allows one to think of The Road and Stigma as inherently ecofiction, and thus suited for ecocritical analysis, bearing in mind Jim Dwyer's stipulation that " most texts can be analysed ecocritically, [but] some are more inherently ecological than others, including many works of contemporary fiction " (Dwyer 2010: 2). Ecofiction is " a composite subgenre made up of many styles, primarily modernism, postmodernism, realism and magic realism, and can be found in many genres " (ibid. ...
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The paper focuses on nature and culture in a post-apocalyptic world, which becomes devoid of life and culture and poses a question of further existence of nature in the world. The works of the Latvian writer Gundega Repše and the American writer Cormac McCarthy are analysed in a comparative way to see how nature, set on a bleak stage with the only decoration of empty houses, can give a promise of further existence. Do the two works make it possible to answer the question of existence at its turning point: ‘How many people does this world need to be a fully natural and cultural place to inhabit?’ The paper tackles this issue from the perspective of ecofeminism and ecocriticism.
... Ce modèle s'avère celui où la partie est subordonnée au tout, où les impulsions unificatrices reflètent un ordre central, où les dépassements du temps et de l'espace se ramènent tous à une force de base, à une autorité supérieure. C'est en vue de ce lieu inséparable de littérature et de réalité que l'oeuvre de Claudel nous semble éclairée par son acte éco-critique (Dwyer 2010). ...
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L’intérêt de Claudel pour la préservation du monde naturel, qui s’exprime dans un texte intitulé « Le Sauvetage d’un continent » (1937), s’inscrit dans un cadre plus vaste des réflexions sur des relations transnationales qui, à partir du séjour de Claudel à Washington, touchent non seulement la médiation culturelle mais aussi font preuve d’une prise de conscience grandissante des rapports de la nature et de l’humanité. Le texte de 1937 met bien en évidence des valeurs tendant au respect de la nature et à la protection de l’environnement. De même, au cours de la décennie précédente, de différentes modalités d’interaction des humains avec leur habitat se perçoivent dans des textes en prose — notamment dans « La Légende de Prâkriti » (1933), où tout lieu d’habitation renvoie à l’œuvre du Créateur— mais aussi dans la « Préface » à Quelques planches du bestiaire spirituel (1948), dans « Le jardin aride » (1934), ainsi que dans quelques poèmes. S’agit-il d’une vision écologiste ? Quelle éthique de la terre se construit, et quelle image de la vie quotidienne se tisse? Quelle en est la part de l’engagement théologique ? Cet article propose de dresser des rapports du lieu et des activités humaines sans pour autant les réduire à une figure de relations culturelles. Puis, devant l’ouverture à de multiples composantes d’un écologisme, il met en exergue l’écriture claudélienne comme acte éco-critique.
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El retorno al campo se ha convertido en la última década en un motivo literario relevante y habitual, como atestigua la consolidación del fenómeno neorrural. Pese al evidente protagonismo de que ha gozado la tensión entre el campo y la ciudad en la tradición española, los textos recientes revelan formas nuevas de relación con el territorio, cercanas en sus postulados a algunas articulaciones ecologistas actuales y a las ecoescrituras. De este modo, el presente artículo propone una relectura del corpus neorrural a la luz de las estéticas ecológicas, tratando, por un lado, de comprender las obras más allá de las representaciones localistas, desde el ámbito de lo posnacional o lo glocal; y por el otro, de formular un vínculo con el medioambiente y la naturaleza que potencie también una consideración constructiva de la ciudad, como espacio de alianzas políticas y encuentros emancipatorios para la comunidad. Para ello, partiremos de algunas de las obras más representativas de las nuevas ruralidades, desde la célebre Intemperie de Jesús Carrasco a Tierra de mujeres de María Sánchez, pasando por ficciones como las de Irene Solà, Lara Moreno o Alberto Olmos.
Chapter
This chapter presents infrastructural issues from select Future Fictions within contemporary transmedial Futurisms from the Global South. It specifically highlights infrastructures in the context of imagined future urban spaces (inhabited primarily, if not exclusively, by human populations) and focuses on their functionality, including sociopolitical systems and systems of governance. It presents four different infrastructures that make up the composition of this speculative future urban: recycling and waste management infrastructures, energy infrastructures, health infrastructures, and food infrastructures. These infrastructures connect to different planetary challenges, including climate change, demographic change, and technological change, and are entangled with questions of sustainability. By taking a relatively expansive survey approach, the chapter explores how such Global South narratives can be studied by enunciating a difference between three overlapping but distinct worldbuilding design toolkits: science fiction (as genre toolkit), architecture fiction (as a prototyping toolkit), and future fiction (as a speculative toolkit).
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The numerous ecological catastrophes of the twentieth century caused by humans have found their way into mass culture. Among them is the Chornobyl nuclear accident that took place in Ukraine in 1986. This disaster became a subject of reflection not only in Ukrainian literature but also in world films and computer games. Along with other works on the nuclear theme in world literature, books by Ukrainian writers for children and young adults (YA) such as Leonid Daien’s Chornobyl – trava girka (Chornobyl – the Bitter Grass) or Yevhen Hutsalo’s Dity Chornobylia (Children of Chornobyl) that depict the Chornobyl accident and its consequences for Ukrainians. I explore the Chornobyl catastrophe concept in the above-mentioned books as well as in the cartoon Travel-book. Ukraine. Ghost Town and in the game S.T.A.L.K.E.R. I claim that Ukrainian works on the Chornobyl theme belong to the genre of ecofiction as a warning to humanity about the negative effects of human behavior on the ecosystem, based on ecocritical theory referred to by Buell, Dwyer, and others. My position is that the Chornobyl nuclear theme in children’s literature is centered closely on the cultural memory of Ukrainians. In reference to Erll’s interpretation of cultural memory as the interplay of present and past in socio-cultural contexts, I consider cultural memory in children’s literature as a need to deal with the traumatic experience of the Chornobyl nuclear accident and ethnocide of Ukrainians in their colonial past. My analysis then focuses on the investigation of how these concepts are implemented in children’s books, films, and games, via their imagery.
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As ecological awareness gains momentum in these times of climate emergency and uncertainty about future, one cannot expect fiction to turn a blind eye to vital issues such as ozone depletion, biodiversity loss, deforestation, global human population growth, violation of animal walfare, and lack of freshwater resources. Buket Uzuner, a leading contemporary Turkish novelist, prioritises ecological and social problems through the agency of Shamanism (ancient Turkish beliefs) and some traditional values in her book series of The Adventures of Misfit Defne Kaman in Water (2012), Earth (2015), and Air (2018). This article’s main focus will be on how Uzuner’s novels help readers to explore environmental consciousness through ancient Turkish value-system such as Shamanism or Kutadgu Bilig (The Wisdom which brings Happiness), an 11th century work. Whether or not making use of mythological/traditional values in the face of ecological awareness in a culture where its modernising efforts still continue will also be investigated as a final discussion
Thesis
Eco-fiction is a subgenre of science fiction that was first written about extensively in 1965 surrounding the effects of human activities on their environment. Since then eco-fiction has branched off into three main categories of science fiction: apocalyptic and post apocalyptic, environmental fiction, and climate fiction. The focus of this research will be on the branch of climate fiction and how it will become the main focus of eco-fiction. It is a relatively young subgenre that is currently used pertaining to the subjects of climate change or global warming. Using a fictional novel, The Collapse of Western Civilization: A View from the Future, and a nonfiction memoir, Katrina Tears, the effects of climate change on individual's psychology should be correlated into current works and ultimately lead to the end of the subgenre as climate change progresses and worsens.
Chapter
The historical novel, which from its origins was intended as a ‘vehicle for the constant intertwining of present and past’ (Hamnett, 2006, p. 32), can be expected to ‘signal a discourse community’s norms, epistemology, ideology, and social ontology’ (Berkenkotter and Huckin, 1993, p. 475). Since 1830, Australia has continued to develop its own brand of historical fiction in the convict novel, which now encompasses more than eighty texts by Australian authors, many canonised, some deservedly forgotten. The genre’s hybridity, typical of the historical novel proper (de Groot, 2010, p. 2), emerges from its fusion of memoirs, romance, Gothic, Realist, Naturalist and Newgate novels. Nine texts have so far been analysed in Laurie Hergenhan’s Unnatural Lives (1983), though he has refused to attempt a generic definition and eschews comparisons, pointing instead to the diversity of form that Australian convict fiction shares with the historical novel (1983, pp. 6–7, 10, 12).
Article
This essay presents a case for ecocriticism as a viable critical method for Christian scholars. It begins with an historical overview of the method, then examines common ground shared by ecocriticism and Christianity, including what amounts to a kind of critical realism, and the belief in the inherent goodness of creation. Two potential obstacles are then addressed by way of Lynn White, Jr's famous essay, “The Historical Roots of our Ecologic Crisis.” These include the relationship of the Bible and the environment, and the charge of anthropocentrism. I believe White is partly right, but contend that neither objection is fatal for Christian scholars who wish to employ ecocriticism.
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Codex Seraphinianus with its non-conventional “script” and the dazzling pictorial elements has charmed and keeps charming readers, reaching a cult status among them. Luigi Serafini had the idea to commit the legacy of an invented fantastic world to “writing” by searching pictorial and scribal possibilities. Examination of Seraphinian, the alleged script, shows a highly individual form of handwriting. The tests (notation set, n-gram count, and positional analysis) do not intend to definitely resolve ambiguities, rather than provide a number of plausible options from a writing system perspective. Although there is zero credible evidence that Seraphinian is phonetic, the results may appeal to interested parties or to the potential contributors in the future for exploring other intellectual teases, whether real-world or constructed script systems.
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