Dancing with Disaster: Environmental Histories, Narratives, by Kate Rigby

By Kate Rigby

The calamitous affects of weather swap which are starting to be felt world wide this present day disclose the inextricability of human and common histories. Arguing for a extra advanced account of such calamities, Kate Rigby examines numerous earlier failures, from the Black loss of life of the center a while to the mega-hurricanes of the twenty-first century, revealing the dynamic interplay of numerous human and nonhuman components of their causation, unfolding, and aftermath.

Focusing at the hyperlink among the methods failures are framed through the tales instructed approximately them and the way humans are inclined to reply to them in perform, Rigby additionally exhibits how works of narrative fiction invite moral mirrored image on human kinfolk with each other, with our usually unruly earthly environs, and with different species within the face of eco-catastrophe. In its research of an array of authors from the Romantic interval to the present―including Heinrich von Kleist, Mary Shelley, Theodor hurricane, Colin Thiele, and Alexis Wright― Dancing with Disaster demonstrates the significance of the environmental humanities within the improvement of extra inventive, compassionate, ecologically orientated, and socially simply responses to the perils and probabilities of the Anthropocene.

Under the signal of Nature: Explorations in Ecocriticism

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Additional resources for Dancing with Disaster: Environmental Histories, Narratives, and Ethics for Perilous Times

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It is in the interests of recovering that recognition, albeit in a postmodern, socioecological, bio-inclusive and scientifically informed guise, that I prefer the term eco-catastrophe. What, then, of catastrophe? This term comes to us, originally, from Aristotle’s Poetics. Literally denoting a sudden turn or overturning (kata, down, against; stroph¯e, turn), this word is used by Aristotle to refer to the change that produces the final outcome in a work of tragic drama (also known as the denouément).

Although written some fifty years after the event and set in Santiago in May 1647 rather than Lisbon in November 1755, this is without doubt the most important Romantic-era literary narrative to have been generated by the theological, epistemological, ontological, and ethical after­shock of the disaster in Portugal. Kleist’s stature as one of Germany’s greatest writers is evidenced not only in the voluminous secondary literature on his work but also in the prestigious literary prize named in his honor, first awarded in 1912, the centenary of his death.

In Pope’s words: Who finds not Providence all good and wise, Alike in what it gives, and what denies? . . . . . . . . . . ”29 In accordance with this physico-theological faith, Kant ponders whether the processes that cause earthquakes might not also assist in the formation of valuable ores in the earth’s crust and minerals in the soil, which, perhaps in conjunction with sources of subterranean warmth, fosters the growth of plants. Even when its manifestations are sometimes troublesome to us, we should be thankful for the God-given “economy of natural riches,” Kant reasons, recalling that we are merely a part of Nature, not its whole purpose.

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