• The Ecological Comedy : The Case for an Existential Literary Ecology

    Peter Critchley (see profile)
    Literature, Ecology, Art and literature, Didactic poetry, Romanticism, Poetry
    Item Type:
    literary ecology, cultural ecology, Dante Alighieri, Literature and environment, Literature and the arts, Ecology and text
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    Human beings are story making animals. Before homo faber came homo symbolicus. Ecological restoration is a restorying. Transitioning to a new world is always a matter of being between stories. We may call these worldviews, standpoints or paradigms, articulating norms and values. We are moving from one view, the materialist, mechanistic and reductionist understanding of the world as some objective datum to a view which sees the world as creative, participatory, animate, and interconnected. In between stories, however, our lives express a certain schizophrenia. We lurch between contrary positions, recognising the right thing to do whilst continuing with practices that, deep down, we know to be wrong. We have bifurcated identities, split from the world, from others and, ultimately, from our own whole natures. Estranged from the Earth, we struggle to see the world that enfolds and sustains us as a sacred community, carrying on with practices that we know to be harmful and exploitative. The problem is that, socially and structurally, we are locked within those destructive patterns of behaviour. We need a new story, one that integrates the material and spiritual dimensions our lives within new patterns of behaviour. This story will not just enlighten and inform but inspire, enthuse, and enliven, motivating people to change their behaviours and reorient their practices for the new Age of Ecology based upon union between the human and earth communities.
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    4 years ago
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