Ecocritical Considerations of Nature in Contemporary British and Estonian Literature

Maris Sõrmus, Julia Tofantšuk, Suliko Liiv

Abstract


The issue of the environment has been never more topical than at present, with environmental problems being an urgent 21st century concern. This topic, otherwise characteristic to natural sciences, has also found its way into literary studies in the form of ecocriticism, which affords an interesting insight into the representation of place and nature in literary texts. This article proposes to take an ecocritical stance, focusing on the aspect of nature in the work of contemporary British and Estonian writers, Graham Swift and Andrus Kivirähk; of special interest is the representation of nature, nature–culture interactions, and a possibility of a new way for seeing the world, that is, through the eyes of nonhumans. It is the nonhuman beings and green environment that constitute a presence in the novels and suggest questioning of such debate-spurning issues as anthropocentrism, nature’s voice(lessness) and agency. Challenging established ideas of humanism and directing attention to topical environmental issues, the contemporary novels highlight a unique ecocentric direction in literature.

Keywords


ecocriticism; nature in literature; bioregionalism; contemporary Estonian and British literature

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References


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DOI: https://doi.org/10.12697/IL.2013.18.1.08

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