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The Rest is Silence: Postmodern and Postcolonial Possibilities in Climate Change Fiction

Johns-Putra, Adeline (2018) The Rest is Silence: Postmodern and Postcolonial Possibilities in Climate Change Fiction Studies in the Novel, 50 (1). pp. 26-42.

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Climate change is one of the most prominent symptoms of an age of unprecedented human impact on the biosphere—the age sometimes called the Anthropocene. In identifying humanity as a geological agent, the term “Anthropocene” exposes the fallacy of human exceptionalism, reminding us of the entangled nature of human and nonhuman agency, and the vast and decidedly nonhuman proportions of human action. For, as climate change and other Anthropocene events make clear, the effect of humans on their environment will far outlast human dimensions of individual lifetimes and even historical epochs: some of the impacts of humans’ activity—for example, species depletion—are irrevocable; others, such as polar ice-melt, are reversible (if at all) over immense durations of time. But in its recognition of the imbrication of human action with the biosphere (in all its human and nonhuman complexity), the concept of the Anthropocene captures a profoundly and existentially disturbing paradox. That is, even as we must confront the damaging illusion of human agency existing aloof and apart from nonhuman “nature,” we must also consider how to recuperate a nuanced view of human agency that enables humans to engage more fully with the unprecedented crisis now engulfing human and nonhuman organisms and environments.

Item Type: Article
Divisions : Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences > School of Literature and Languages
Authors :
Date : 7 March 2018
DOI : 10.1353/sdn.2018.0002
Copyright Disclaimer : Copyright 2018 Johns Hopkins University Press and the University of North Texas
Depositing User : Clive Harris
Date Deposited : 13 Jul 2017 10:02
Last Modified : 17 Oct 2018 17:20

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