This article analyzes the challenges of contemporary English novel to ecocriticism. It explains that the novel has often been considered to be unsuitable or at least problematic for ecocritical analysis and argues that a broadening of ecocriticism is needed if it wants to develop as a critical practice and continue to raise awareness about environmental concerns. It examines several relevant novels including David Mitchell’s Cloud Atlas, Jon McGregor’s If Nobody Speaks of Remarkable Things, and Ian McEwan’s Solar.
Joseph Elkanah Rosenberg
This article discusses the novels of Henry Green in relation to late modernism. It begins by discussing Green’s placement within current debates regarding the nature and scope of modernism. Paying particular attention to Party Going, it argues that what makes Green’s novels quintessentially late modernist is the way that they thematize their own untimeliness. Green’s novels are obsessed with all manner of belatedness: journeys are delayed and parental origins questioned, events and images repeat themselves endlessly, and lost treasures return only to be lost again. The article ends by considering how, through the displacement of images from his earlier novels—particularly that of dead birds—Green’s later novels reveal the repetition, bathos, and obsession with nothingness that are the hallmarks of his singular style.
This article considers Virginia Woolf’s late writing—The Years, Three Guineas, and Between the Acts—in the context of recent shifts within modernist studies. It examines a range of scholarly narratives about this period of Woolf’s writing, arguing for the importance of considering these three works alongside one another. Faced with the rise of fascism and the onset of World War II, Woolf became increasingly concerned not only with political change, but also with the forms and modes through which the sociopolitical is represented. Her own pacifist, feminist interrogation of the forces of tyranny at home and abroad led her to test out different genres and media as a response to political crisis. In particular, her late writing is characterized by a desire to defamiliarize conventional (whether militaristic or misogynist) ways of seeing and thinking.