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Environment and Fiction

Critical Readings

Edited By Özden Sözalan and Inci Bilgin Tekin

The essays in this volume engage with questions concerning the relationships between fictional texts and environmental issues in their various articulations, and offer critical readings that display the theoretical diversity in the current reconsiderations of the place of human in relation to nature and the environment. Written by scholars working in separate yet closely related disciplines in the field of humanities, the essays present analyses of literary and cultural texts, performed with the critical tools provided by studies in ecology, ecofeminism, urban studies, posthumanism and animal studies as well as genre-specific approaches.

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Introduction (Özden Sözalan)

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Özden Sözalan

“Human”, “nature”, and “environment” continue to occupy their privileged place among the inexhaustible themes in literary and cultural representations. Verbal or visual, most representations are, after all, about human beings and their relation to the physical and social environment. As environmental crises grow increasingly more threatening for human and non-human life on our planet, the need to ask new questions pertaining to the ways we think about the interconnections between those concepts becomes pressuring. The latest pandemic has reminded us once again, that “people are entangled in co-constitutive relationships with nature and the environment, with other animals and organisms, with medicine and technology, with science and epistemic politics.”1 To think of a virus originating in an animal body that can infect millions of human beings simply because it is capable of traversing corporeal boundaries between the human and the non-human animal. Not only that. The resulting global scare has already led to huge changes in our habitual ways of working, producing, studying, making art, socializing, and travelling. These seem to be indicative of a shift of paradigm in “culture”, too, the domain we once took to be solely of our own wilful making. As much as human interference in nature and the environment has been causing colossal damage on a global scale in our age of the Anthropocene, thus changing it irreversibly, our cultures are simultaneously being transformed according to the mandates of natural and non-human phenomena. So, yes; we are “fully in nature,...

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