Reading Edward Thomas in the Anthropocene

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

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
Volume18
Issue number2
Early online date25 Mar 2014
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2014

Keywords

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

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