Paper: Knowing Genre, Knowing Nature. Econarratology, Genre and Climate Fiction

In September 2015 I presented a paper on ecocriticism and narratology at the ASLE-UKI Conference (Association for the Study of Literature and Environment – UK and Ireland) in Cambridge.

Genre is key to the stories we tell about nature – it shapesOdds Against Tomorrow the form these stories takes and how we interpret them. The paper provides a framework for an approach that combines ecocriticism and narratology (econarratology). I apply this approach to climate fiction – or cli-fi- as a contemporary genre that is especially good at capturing contemporary climate crisis. Using the narratological flight behaviourconcept of worldmaking I suggest that the distance between our world and the textual world of climate fictions, and how this world is created, is vital to the success of the genre. The works I discuss are Barbara Kingsolver’s Flight Behaviour (2012) and Nathaniel Rich’s Odds Against Tomorrow (2013).

The full text of the paper is available here. I didn’t hand out a list of sources at the conference to conserve paper. It can be found here.

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