Recent years have seen a burgeoning of novels that respond to the environmental issues we currently face. Among these, Louise Squire defines environmental crisis fiction as concerned with a range of environmental issues and with the human subject as a catalyst for these issues. She argues that this fiction is characterised by a thematic use of "death," through which it explores a "crisis" of both environment and self. Squire refers to this emergent thematic device as "death-facing ecology". This device enables this fiction to engage with a range of theoretical ideas and with popular notions of death and the human condition as cultural phenomena of the modern West. In doing so, this fiction invites its readers to consider how humanity might begin to respond to the crisis.
Table of Contents
Introduction: Thoughts Towards an Ecology of Death-Facing
- A Crisis of Environment, A crisis in Thought
- Death Denial, Death facing
- Impasse, Paradox
- Discursive Death, Material Death
Conclusion: Imageries of the Future
Louise Squire researches in contemporary literature and ecocriticism. She works at University of Portsmouth and is Assistant Editor for Ecozon@. Publications include (co-editor) Literature and Sustainability: Concept, Text and Culture, a chapter in Extending Ecocritcism, ed. by Peter Barry and William Welstead, and an article in The Oxford Literary Review.
"This book offers us all a challenge: can thinking about, and thinking with, death, help us to understand our reactions to environmental crisis? By drawing our attention to the ways literature has confronted and acknowledged death both as a reality and as a way of figuring our lives, Squire's study shows how the imagination of the end of us is not limited to hopeless and helpless spectacle of disaster."
– Dr. Jenny Bavidge, University of Cambridge