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Repräsentationsweisen des Anthropozän in Literatur und Medien

Representations of the Anthropocene in Literature and Media

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Edited By Gabriele Dürbeck and Jonas Nesselhauf

Das Anthropozän mit der Idee der systemischen Zusammenhänge von Mensch, Technologie und Umwelt ist durch Komplexität und disproportionale Skalierungseffekte von planetarischem und tiefenzeitlichem Ausmaß gekennzeichnet. Der Band geht der Frage nach, mit welchen Rhetoriken und Strategien Literatur und Kunst die Komplexität des Anthropozän auf menschliches Maß beziehen. Vor dem Hintergrund der Environmental Humanities untersuchen die 11 Beiträge das interdependente Beziehungsgeflecht von Mensch und agentieller ‹Natur› wie auch die Interaktion von unterschiedlichen zeitlichen, räumlichen und thematischen Skalen in Komposition, Figurendarstellung und Metaphorik (Raumschiff, Gaia, Weltgärtner) mit Bezug auf lokale Umweltprobleme und globale Zukunftsfragen. Mediale Austragsorte sind Erzählung, Epos, Climate und Science Fiction, Heimatroman, Ecodiegesis, Umweltlyrik, Hörspiel, Fotographie, Film und bildende Kunst.

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Anticipating the Anthropocene: Science Fiction’s Ecological Concerns

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Kunal Chattopadhyay

Abstract: Science Fiction as a genre has a long history of looking at human intervention on the ecology with a critical eye. One line of critical approach (from Pohl and Kornbluth’s The Space Merchants, via John Brunner’s The Sheep Look Up, to Paolo Bacigalupi’s The Windup Girl) sees the social structure as the key determinant. Another line looks at more hopeful authors like Asimov who balance critique with hopes for technology itself providing a breakthrough. By the twenty-first century we have novels that come to be called Cli-Fi, such as Dale Pendell’s The Great Bay: Chronicles of the Collapse, where the Anthropocene is not anticipated but rather portrayed as an event toward which humanity and the world is rushing rapidly.

Since the term Anthropocene was first proposed only in 1995 and explained in the years following, science fiction written prior to that could not formally address that. Yet, as comparatists know, it is often the case that they define or delineate a genre or a sub-genre avant la lettre. Science fiction itself was a term that came later, but would encompass Frankenstein (1818), which was previously viewed just as a Gothic novel, even though Mary Shelley had put in a disclaimer, arguing that there was a scientific basis for her novel. She wrote in the preface:

The event on which this fiction is founded has been supposed, by Dr. Darwin, and some of the physiological writers of Germany, as not of impossible...

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