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doi:10.3808/jei.201700374
Copyright © 2017 ISEIS. All rights reserved

Environmental Information in Modern Fiction and Ecocriticism

J. Zhang1*, L. R. Liu2, X. C. Shi1, H. Wang3, and G. Huang4

  1. Department of Foreign Languages, China Women’s University, Beijing 100101, China
  2. Institute for Energy, Environment and Sustainable Communities, University of Regina, Regina, SK S4S 0A2, Canada
  3. Department of Water Resources, China Institute of Water Resources and Hydropower Research, Beijing, 100044, China
  4. Institute for Energy, Environment and Sustainability Research, UR-BNU, 3737 Wascana Parkway, Regina, SK S4S 0A2, Canada

*Corresponding author. Tel.: +86 10 84659135; fax: +86 10 84659135. E-mail address: zhangju@cwu.edu.cn (J. Zhang).

Abstract


Environmental writing and ecocritical inquiry have been practiced more vigorously in recent years than before, with increasing sophistication and substantial progress. In this study, the discourses of environment in modern fiction are examined from an ecocritical perspective. The literary representations of environment in modern fiction reveal new insights into environmental issues and provide new perspectives and viable documentary information for the scientific study of the environment. Trying to conceptualize some of the environmental phenomena, this study concludes that zoomorphism and anti-anthropocentrism can well balance ecocentric concerns, reflecting and enhancing the close ties and interdependence between human society and the natural world. Environmental apocalypticism is another notable concept conveyed in modern fiction, indicating great crises of the worsening environment. More importantly, environmental apocalypticism serves as an alarming reminder that the remarkable complexity of problematic environmental issues humans facing are both urgent and devastating. With analyses of literature’s engagement with the natural environment, the interdisciplinary vision highlights the interconnections between man and nature, expands research space for both disciplines and provides more efficient means of solving the environmental problems.

Keywords: environmental information, ecocriticism, zoomorphism, anti-anthropocentrism, environmental apocalypticism, Penelope Fitzgerald


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