- The Wire's: "Could Eco-Literature Be the Next Major Literary Wave?" by literary critic Rajesh Subramanian
- Lit Hub's "Beyond Apocalypse: How the New Eco-Literature Points Toward Ways of Reshaping Our Consciousness" By Alan Rossi (9-21-2022)
But I read the articles anyway. And I didn't walk away frightened.
In The Wire's article by literary critic Rajesh Subramanian , cli-fi is defined as such:
"Cli-fi often ventures into the realms of sci-fi and/or speculative fiction when the narrative gets rooted in future or in an imaginary geographical locale. The litmus test is how far such fiction evokes in the reader a sense of urgency towards an action to save the environment, or, if they are capable of leaving a deep impression to humans conscious of their role in saving the earth."He goes on to write:
"Eco-lit needs to delve deeper into portrayals of how environmental degradation leads to human agony, suffering and displacements; how citizens turn into refugees within their own country; how economic and political exploitation turn human life upside down and jeopardise the environment, thereby making it unsuitable for life in future. But it needs to be done as literature, as human stories of subtlety, not just the sterile badgering of activism."
- Man versus Nature
- Man versus Self
- Man versus Society
- Man versus Supernatural
- Man versus Technology
Rajesh Subramanian goes on to discuss how it can't be moralistic or dogmatic, which some writings can take this slant. I felt that when I read The Overstory, and it felt heavy.
As Alan Rossi explained in the Lit Hub article, "With the climate crisis as its animating force, new books are asking new questions about what it means to be a mind experiencing a world in crisis."
The world is in crisis. In more ways than one. So looking at that through the lens of books and characters and how they deal with it, maybe there are things to learn not only about the world, but about ourselves, in reading books with this slant. He goes on to analyze several books and how their themes are allegories to the environmental crisis in some ways. Interesting food for thought. In one book discussion in particular, he discusses how it focuses on how do the characters go about taking action.
He ends with a great quote about this genre:
"In this way, the new eco-literature is not just about the pending apocalypse or dystopia or climate change alone. Rather, these books are about how we encounter the world, which means they are about our minds. Everything begins in our consciousness, and these books point toward ways of reshaping that consciousness in order to really encounter the vast thing we’re changing."