Reading Edward Thomas in the Anthropocene

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


As has been widely remarked, the Anthropocene has done strange things to our sense of time. The coincidence of deep time past and potentially catastrophic futures in the present-day consumption of fossil fuels has led to what Timothy Clark has called a derangement of scale. This article proposes that the work of Edward Thomas offers a mode of reading and thinking across multiple scales suitable to the disjunctive time of the Anthropocene. Concentrating on Thomas’ decentered perspectives, his interleaving of sound and syntax, and innovation of a form of fractal poetics, I argue that his ecological sensibility anticipates both the radical interconnectedness of Timothy Morton’s “ecological thought,” and what Barbara Adam calls “time ecology”: a sense of landscapes constituted by other times. Reading Edward Thomas involves a poetics of time ecology — decentred and open, present to the enduring past and the already-occurring future —appropriate to the temporal distortions of the Anthropocene.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)132-142
Number of pages11
JournalGreen Letters: Studies in Ecocriticism
Issue number2
Early online date25 Mar 2014
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2014


  • Edward Thomas
  • Anthropocene
  • Timothy Morton
  • ecological thought
  • time ecology
  • fractals

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Reading Edward Thomas in the Anthropocene'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this