Against Exuberant Ecocentrism: Kafka, Coetzee and Transformative Mimesis

in From Ego to Eco
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This contribution discusses the question of ecocentrism from the perspective of aesthetic demands for verisimilitude and mimesis and argues that a truly ethical understanding of literature ought to focus on the epistemological potential of literature to render the world strange and thus incite wonder in readers. Drawing on cultural ecology as well as literary scholarship on dialogism and polydiscursivity, it discusses the writings of Kafka and Coetzee as examples of such a “transformative” mimesis, challenging notions of ecocentrism and thus substantially reframing what it means to be human in a more-than-human world.

From Ego to Eco

Mapping Shifts from Anthropocentrism to Ecocentrism

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