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The environment in British fiction and non-fiction prose since 1945

The environment in British fiction and non-fiction prose since 1945

Weston, Daniel Peter (2018) The environment in British fiction and non-fiction prose since 1945. Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Literature. Oxford University Press, Oxford.

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Abstract

The creative writing of landscape and environment is riding high on the research agendas of a number of scholarly fields. In literary studies, ecocriticism has seen attempts to map a set of characteristics that constitute an environmentally-oriented text, often with the result that non-fiction writing (or, less often, poetry) is the form prioritized. By contrast, fiction has been seen as less capable of embracing landscape and environment because it is concerned first and foremost with human affairs and has taken the narrative shapes that typically accompany this emphasis. However, the post-war and contemporary period has seen extensive formal experimentation running counter to this set of assumptions. First, novelists concerned with landscape and environment have found ways to demonstrate the implication of human history in natural history. Second, non-fiction writers have recognized that they might profitably deploy literary forms and techniques usually associated with fiction in their writing of landscape and environment. The upshot has been a generic coalescence and the emergence of landscape writing as a category that straddles habitual divisions in the way that literary forms are conceived. The plasticity of the environment – for better or worse – has registered in urban and rural settings, as well as those that fall somewhere between this (perhaps outmoded) binary. The increasingly unavoidable knowledge of the consequences of human actions upon the environment form an important context for the falling away of older forms such as the nature novel and act as a spur to re-conceptualize both places and ways to write about them.

Item Type: Book Section
Uncontrolled Keywords: fiction, non-fiction, post-1945, environment
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
P Language and Literature > PR English literature
Faculty / Department / Research Group: Faculty of Architecture, Computing & Humanities
Faculty of Architecture, Computing & Humanities > Department of Literature, Language & Theatre
Faculty of Architecture, Computing & Humanities > Literature & Drama Research Group
Last Modified: 16 Feb 2018 16:05
Selected for GREAT 2016: None
Selected for GREAT 2017: None
Selected for GREAT 2018: None
URI: http://gala.gre.ac.uk/id/eprint/19257

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