Ecosickness in Contemporary U.S. Fiction

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Juni 2014



The 1970s brought a new understanding of the biological and intellectual impact of environmental crises on human beings. As efforts to prevent ecological and bodily injury aligned, a new literature of sickness emerged. "Ecosickness fiction" imaginatively rethinks the link between these forms of threat and the sick body to bring readers to environmental consciousness. Tracing the development of ecosickness through a compelling archive of contemporary U.S. novels and memoirs, Ecosickness in Contemporary U.S. Fiction establishes that we cannot comprehend environmental and medical dilemmas through data alone and must call on the sometimes surprising emotions that literary metaphors, tropes, and narratives deploy. In chapters on David Foster Wallace, Richard Powers, Leslie Marmon Silko, Marge Piercy, Jan Zita Grover, and David Wojnarowicz, Heather Houser shows how narrative affects such as wonder and disgust organize perception of an endangered world and orient us ethically toward it. The study builds the connective tissue between contemporary literature, ecocriticism, affect studies, and the medical humanities.It also positions ecosickness fiction relative to emergent forms of environmentalism and technoscientific innovations such as regenerative medicine and alternative ecosystems. Houser models an approach to contemporary fiction as a laboratory for affective changes that spark or squelch ethical projects.


Acknowledgments1. Ecosickness2. AIDS Out of the City: Discordant Natures3. Richard Powers's Strange Wonder4. Infinite Jest's Environmental Case for Disgust5. The Anxiety of Intervention in Leslie Marmon Silko and Marge PiercyConclusion: How Does It Feel?NotesWorks CitedIndex


Heather Houser is an assistant professor of English at the University of Texas at Austin. She teaches and publishes on contemporary literature; the environmental humanities; and science, technology, and culture.
EAN: 9780231165143
ISBN: 0231165145
Untertitel: Environment and Affect. 'Literature Now'. 5 b&w illustrations. Sprache: Englisch.
Verlag: Columbia University Press
Erscheinungsdatum: Juni 2014
Seitenanzahl: 328 Seiten
Format: gebunden
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