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Ecocritical Explorations
The Nature Essay: Ecocritical Explorations is the first extended study of a powerful literary form born out of the traditions of Enlightenment and Romanticism. It traces the varied stylistic paradigms of the ‘nature essay’ down to the present day. Reading essays as platforms for ecological discourse, the book analyses canonical and marginalised texts, mainly from German, English and American literature. Simone Schröder argues that the essay’s environmental impact is rooted in its negotiation of scientific, poetic, spiritual, and ethical modes of perceiving nature. Together, the chapters on these four aspects form a historical panorama of the nature essay as a genre that continues to flourish in our time of ecological crisis.

Authors discussed include: Alexander von Humboldt, Henry David Thoreau, Virginia Woolf, Robert Musil, Ernst Jünger, W.G. Sebald, Kathleen Jamie, and David Foster Wallace.
Mapping Shifts from Anthropocentrism to Ecocentrism
From Ego to Eco – Mapping Shifts from Anthropocentrism to Ecocentrism investigates philosophical, political and aesthetic formations of ecocentrism. Representing a variety of disciplines and testing a broad scope of critical approaches, the contributors of this volume argue that anthropocentrism is not - as often claimed - a predominant world view but, rather, a widely contested concept. Within various historical and national contexts, the individual contributors of this book discuss the significance and relevance of ecocentrism and offer new avenues to emerging discourses in the humanities.

Contributors are: Darrell Arnold, Roman Bartosch, Aengus Daly, Gearoid Denvir, Elisabeth Jütten, Karla McManus, Sabine Lenore Müller, Maureen O’ Connor, Lillis Ó Laoire, Helen Phelan, Tina-Karen Pusse, and Christian Schmitt-Kilb.
The “madder stain” imprinted on Tess d’Urberville’s arm is part of a motif which runs through Hardy’s fiction. Similar to Barthes’s punctum shooting out of the studium, the stain is a place where the Real erupts, a blind spot that eludes interpretation. In the diegesis of the tragic novels, it is a surplus object whose intrusion disrupts reality and spells disaster. This book attempts to approach that unknowable kernel of jouissance by using Lacan’s concepts of object-gaze and object-voice—sometimes revisited by Zizek.
The stain has a vocal quality: it is silence audible. In a world where sound cannot reverberate for lack of a structural void, voice is by necessity muted, stuck in the throat. Hence the peculiar quality of Tess’s voice, a silent feminine cry that has retained something of the lost vocal object. The sound of silence is what Hardy’s poetic prose allows us to hear.