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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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Decentering the Human on Stage: Neither as Posthumanist Opera (Ferdi Çetin)

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Ferdi Çetin

New connections between the subject and his/her relation to nature need to be considered even to begin to comment on a new notion of subject in theater with fresh references to posthumanism. I shall start, therefore, by focusing on the pronoun we use to identify the subject, nature and the beings either human or animal to show our conventional relationship with them. I start using “he” or “she” for the subject and I can use “it” for nature. Even the choice of a single subject or object pronoun gives me enough idea to start a discussion about previously unchallenged norms. In his book Humankind: Solidarity with Nonhuman People, Professor Timothy Morton explains in detail this issue of pronoun:

There is no pronoun entirely suitable to describe ecological beings. If I call them “I”, then I am appropriating them to myself or to some pantheistic or Gaia concept that swallows them all without regard to their specificity. If I call them “you”, I differentiate them from the kind of being that I am. If I call them “he” or “she”, then I am gendering them according to heteronormative concepts that are untenable on evolutionary terms. If I call them “it”, I don’t think they are people like me and I’m being blatantly anthropocentric.1

Morton shows how problematic it is to use a single pronoun to describe ecological beings. It’s not easy to find a solution for this at once as the issue of...

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