Re-imagining Anthropocene: towards a post-anthropocentric planetary literature

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Annamaria Elia


Scientific and cultural debates around the concept of Anthropocene – proposed by Paul Crutzen and Eugene Stoermer to name our current geological epoch – have opened the literary world to new narratives, ideas, and theoretical horizons. Despite its ambiguity, the term reveals how human action has negatively influenced the Earth system’s equilibria, causing catastrophic events such as climate change, biodiversity loss, floods, and droughts. 

In this context, philosophical and literary discussions have pointed out the necessity of a paradigmatic shift from the anthropocentrism of western cultures – based on the division between nature and culture, human and non-human worlds – towards more ecological, eco-cosmopolitan, and posthuman systems of belief. 

Literary fiction contributes to the western culture’s paradigmatic change in different ways: I turn to new materialism, environmental humanities, and posthuman ecocriticism to propose a comparative analysis of narrative works of the Italian writer Laura Pugno and the French writer Marie Darrieussecq to support such theoretical discussions, underlying their value in our contemporary planetary and post-anthropocentric literary scenario. 

Published: Nov 14, 2022

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Literature facing the challenges of the Anthropocene