‘Improbable metaphor’: Jesmyn Ward’s asymmetrical Anthropocene

Ivry, H. (2021) ‘Improbable metaphor’: Jesmyn Ward’s asymmetrical Anthropocene. European Review, 29(3), pp. 383-396. (doi: 10.1017/S1062798720000708)

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This article traces the ways in which the Anthropocene has led us to rethink what we mean by crisis. Crisis in the Anthropocene is no longer about a threat to a sovereign self but signals a dissolution of the sovereignty of the planet. In order to trace the shifting scales of crisis, this article reads Jesmyn Ward’s 2011 Hurricane Katrina novel, Salvage the Bones. Katrina, I argue, offers a site at which to think through how crisis in the Anthropocene is both natural and human, epistemological and ontological. Ward’s novel, I contend, offers a glimpse of the ecological interdependency of life in the Anthropocene. Ward’s novel also offers an environmental account of racism and a racialized account of environmentalism. In this way, Ward’s novel works through the divergent scales of crisis of life in the Anthropocene.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Ivry, Dr Henry
Authors: Ivry, H.
College/School:College of Arts > School of Critical Studies > English Literature
Journal Name:European Review
Publisher:Cambridge University Press
ISSN (Online):1474-0575
Published Online:05 June 2020

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