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Enchanting Irruptions: Wonder, Noir, and the Environmental Imaginary
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Languages, Department of English. (American Studies)
2017 (English)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
Description
Abstract [en]

This thesis investigates narratives of re-enchantment and disenchantment in three contemporary U.S. novels, Lydia Millet’s Mermaids in Paradise, Karen Tei Yamashita’s Tropic of Orange, and Thomas Pynchon’s Inherent Vice. Drawing on key concepts from ecocritcism and affect theory, I argue that these novels interrogate narratives and affects associated with questions central to the Anthropocene: climate-related dilemmas, questions of environmental justice, and animal ethics. Situating these texts in relation to environmental discourses, I show how affects of wonder and re-enchantment are produced within them through the insertion of anti-mimetic narrative objects into otherwise representationally realistic fictional worlds. These incursions, and the affective shifts they produce, challenge and interrupt in the novels narratives of ecological dread and disenchantment, which I link to the techniques and affects of noir. In each chapter of this study, I show how the dialogical interplay between disenchantment and re-enchantment disrupts preconceptions and assumptions about aspects of ecological crisis, and engenders or reinforces political commitments to environmentally related issues. Chapter One focuses on interspecies politics and animal rights in Mermaids in Paradise, environmental justice is central to the analysis of Tropic of Orange in Chapter Two, and the political dynamics of countercultural environmentalism inform my reading of Inherent Vice in Chapter Three. Throughout, I explore the potential of re-enchantment to suggest an alternative to disenchanted and apocalyptic narratives concerning the environment, and to articulate a productive politics for contemporary ecofiction. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Department of English, Uppsala University , 2017. , p. 170
Keywords [en]
Ecocriticism, ecofiction, re-enchantment, wonder, disenchantment, noir, environmental ethics, climate change, affect, environmental justice, Thomas Pynchon, Lydia Millet, Karen Tei Yamashita
National Category
Languages and Literature
Research subject
Literature
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-334648OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-334648DiVA, id: diva2:1160851
Public defence
2018-01-27, Geijersalen: Eng/6-1023, Thunbergsvägen 3P, Uppsala, 10:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2017-12-21 Created: 2017-11-28 Last updated: 2017-12-21

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

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Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf