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Hispanic Ecocriticism

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Edited By José Manuel Marrero Henríquez

Hispanic Ecocriticism finds a rich soil in the main topics of environmental concern in the literature of Latin America and Spain, not only as a source for renewing critical analysis and hermeneutics, but also for the benefit of global environmental awareness. In a renewed exchange of transatlantic relationships, Hispanic Ecocriticism intermingles Latin American ecocritical issues of interest — the oil industry; contamination of forests and rivers; urban ecologies; African, Andean, and Amazonian biocultural ecosystems — with those of interest in Spain — animal rights and the ecological footprints of human activity in contemporary narratives of eco-science fiction, in dystopias, and in literature inspired by natural or rural landscapes that conceal ways of life and cultures in peril of extinction.

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Manuel Silva-Ferrer: Petrofictions: Nature and Imaginaries of Oil in Latin America

Petrofictions: Nature and Imaginaries of Oil

in Latin America

Extract

Manuel Silva-Ferrer

The eye in oil’s dim gas

was extinguishing around the houses.

The eye in the dim gas was dying.

Your name of boy-Cabimas.

Bus-Cabimas. Fish-Cabimas

was returning from a trip into the future

from another time that kept you in the distance.

Hesnor Rivera. Cabimas

Abstract: Petroleum is a topic that has been extensively explored by researchers and scholars from all fields of science; however, what has been written in literature and cultural studies about oil is relatively insufficient. This chapter intends to join those that have sought to fill that void through an approach to the discourses and representations around the so-called black gold in Latin America. It is my aim to analyze how certain literature that was produced throughout the twentieth century reflects the radical sociocultural transformations that occurred after an accelerated process of incorporation into modernity driven by the oil industry. This epochal change marked the beginning of a new phase of globalization, determined by the rise and expansion of fossil energies. In this context, I would like to turn my attention to the “ecological turn” started two decades ago in the fields of literature and humanities. Consequently, I wish to pay attention to the call made by Cheryll Glotfelty (1996) in her introduction to The Ecocriticism Reader: Landmarks in Literary Ecology to introduce some environmental considerations into the analysis of the texts. I do not pretend...

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