Recent debates about the Anthropocene have prompted a re-negotiation of the relationship between human subjectivity and nonhuman matter within a wide range of disciplines. This collection builds on the assumption that our understanding of the nonhuman world is bound up with the experience of space: thinking about and with nonhuman spaces destabilizes human-scale assumptions. Literary form affords this kind of nonanthropocentric experience; one role of the critic in the Anthropocene is to foreground the function of space and description in challenging the conventional link between narrative and human (inter)subjectivity. Bringing together New Formalism, ecocriticism, and narrative theory, the included essays demonstrate that literature can transgress the strong and long-established boundary of the human frame that literary and narrative scholarship clings to. The focus is firmly on the contemporary but with strategic samplings in earlier cultural texts (the American transcendentalists, modernist fiction) that anticipate present-day anxieties about the nonhuman, while at the same time offering important conceptual tools for working through them.

chapter |16 pages


ByMarco Caracciolo, Marlene Karlsson Marcussen, David Rodriguez
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part Part I|52 pages

Objects and the Resources of Description

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chapter 2|16 pages

Floating Air—Solid Furniture

Vibrant Spaces in Virginia Woolf's “Time Passes”
ByMarlene Karlsson Marcussen
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chapter 3|17 pages

The Descriptive Turn in German Nature-Oriented Neue Sachlichkeit (1913–1933)

An Essay on Nonhuman Literary Genres
ByMichael Karlsson Pedersen
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part Part II|80 pages

Catastrophic Narrative Environments

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chapter 5|15 pages

Seasonal Feelings

Reading Paolo Bacigalupi's The Windup Girl During Winter Depression
ByKaisa Kortekallio
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chapter 6|21 pages

Imagining Posthuman Environments in the Anthropocene

The Function of Space in Post-Apocalyptic Climate Change Fiction
ByCarolin Gebauer
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chapter 7|24 pages

“It Wants to Become Real and Can Only Become Prose”

Anthropocenic Focalization in 10:04 and The World Without Us
ByDavid Rodriguez
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part Part III|78 pages

Scales and Limits of Narrative

chapter 8|15 pages

Maarit Verronen's Monomaniacs of the Anthropocene

Scaling the Nonhuman in Contemporary Finnish Fiction
BySarianna Kankkunen
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chapter 9|16 pages

Plotting the Nonhuman

The Geometry of Desire in Contemporary “Lab Lit”
ByMarco Caracciolo
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chapter 10|19 pages

Lithic Space-Time in Lyric

Narrating the Poetic Anthropocene
ByBrian J. McAllister
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chapter 11|20 pages

Narrating the “Great Outdoors”

ByRidvan Askin
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chapter 12|6 pages

Inside the Great Outdoors

A Complete and Unabridged Guide: With Travelogue, Bestiary, Judgement
ByLine Henriksen
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