Ecology and comparativism: planetary space between dwelling and displacement in contemporary French and English poetics

La Vedrine, Sam (2019) Ecology and comparativism: planetary space between dwelling and displacement in contemporary French and English poetics. PhD thesis, University of Nottingham.

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This thesis looks at the poetry and conceptual apparatus of four poets working in French and English during the past several decades who develop distinct poetic epistemes following precepts of natural and cultural ecology and comparativism. It questions how their poetics merges the comparative practice of analogy with ecological discourse to highlight an intersection of the politics and aesthetics of a planetary space under threat, simultaneously, from destructive treatment of the Earth and globalisation’s exclusive representations and effacements of difference.

Surveying the emergence of literary ecocriticism, recent cultural or philosophical ecologies, and their imbrication with current debates in comparative literature, I argue that the formation of a materialist ecology of separation based on poiesis helps make conceptual distinctions within the Earth’s space, as relies on the advocation neither of absolute interconnection – dwelling – nor radical distancing – displacement. Accordingly, a specific poetic identity of subjective creation measures different scalar expressions of planetary existence as paradoxes of what I describe as the groundless dwelling of ecological comparativism. Crossing questions of difference, finitude, equivalence, and necessity and contingency, poetry’s analogy, metaphor, image, and figure subsequently reflect ideas from spatial topology, ecological sciences, post-colonial theory, and contemporary philosophy to form a speculative poetic thinking intersecting natural and cultural ecology and creative and critical comparativism.

Comprising of any relation that is theoretically self-other, poetry’s comparison helps form identity in planetary space through ecology’s premise of interconnection and interdependence. However, reflecting meaning’s relativism and its production, circulation, and reception, a materialist ecology of separation inverts interconnection to form non-dialectical relations maintaining difference modelled on poetry’s analogical apparatus. Arguing that any ecological epistemology must be simultaneously comparative, this is read in a series of self-other relations – space, place, language, and alterity itself – in Kenneth White’s geopoetics, Édouard Glissant’s poetics of Relation, Pierre Joris’ nomadic poetics, and Michel Deguy’s poetic ecology.

Item Type: Thesis (University of Nottingham only) (PhD)
Supervisors: Ridon, Jean-Xavier
García, Patricia
Keywords: Poetic epistemes; Ecological discourse; Comparative literature; Ecological epistemology; Literary ecocriticism
Subjects: P Language and literature > PN Literature (General)
Faculties/Schools: UK Campuses > Faculty of Arts > School of Cultures, Languages and Area Studies
Item ID: 56978
Depositing User: La Vedrine, Sam
Date Deposited: 25 Mar 2020 09:39
Last Modified: 06 May 2020 09:33

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