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Climate and History in the Anthropocene: Realist Narrative and the Framing of Time

Johns-Putra, Adeline (2019) Climate and History in the Anthropocene: Realist Narrative and the Framing of Time In: Climate and Literature. Cambridge Critical Concepts . Cambridge University Press, pp. 246-262. ISBN 978-1-108-42252-9

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Abstract

This chapter is prompted by recent calls by historians and other scholars for new understandings of history in the Anthropocene; it asks what this might mean for literary realism, invested as it is in the depiction of the passing of time. History in the Anthropocene renders redundant the human-historical, individual-universal dialectic that has long been the hallmark of the realist novel. Following Ian Baucom, this chapter looks to Walter Benjamin’s conceptualisation of history for clues to a new form of literary realism. For Benjamin, a true understanding of history demands the recognition of the 'image' of history, a recognition occurring in a moment of 'arrest' or stoppage in the flow of time and of thought. This chapter speculates on the emergence in the Anthropocene of a literary realism that performs just such an arrest, taking its reader beyond conventional understandings of (human) history and time.

Item Type: Book Section
Divisions : Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences > School of Literature and Languages
Authors :
NameEmailORCID
Johns-Putra, Adelinea.johns-putra@surrey.ac.uk
Date : July 2019
DOI : 10.1017/9781108505321.016
Copyright Disclaimer : © Cambridge University Press 2019
Uncontrolled Keywords : Realism; History; Time; Anthropocene; Dipesh Chakrabarty; Walter Benjamin; Fredric Jameson; David Mitchell; Cloud Atlas
Depositing User : Clive Harris
Date Deposited : 19 Aug 2019 07:57
Last Modified : 19 Aug 2019 08:23
URI: http://epubs.surrey.ac.uk/id/eprint/852429

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