The Medium Scale of Nostalgic Narratives in Climate Change Fiction

Publikation: KonferencebidragPaperForskning


The world is in the midst of an ever-deepening crisis of climate change. Scalar effects, as noted by among others Timothy Clark, are one of the great challenges in presenting climate change and making it comprehensible for the audience. Often, the narrative scale of the texts mentioned above do not allow for the appreciation of the scope of the crises presented – making them what Tim Morton calls hyperobjects. This paper argues that nostalgic narratives have the potential to focus on a medium scale, allowing the experience of restorative nostalgia (Boym) to allow us to consider both the long scope of the historical consequences, and tie that to the local affective narrative within the story. The paper will focus on readings of two novels, Emily St. John Mandel’s Station Eleven and Louise Erdrich’s Future Home of a Living God. Each of these novels deals with an unseen pandemic, and with the specific reactions by individual characters. Each have important aspects devoted to nostalgia – Mandel presenting a museum of lost items reflecting a world to which, post-pandemic, one cannot return to; Erdrich presenting the ongoing crisis told from within the changing environmental conditions, but also with a nostalgic edge both inter and extradiegetically drawing in verisimilar recollections to the changing conditions for human and nonhuman animals alike – and both deal with a postapocalpytic scenario that allows us to consider how we can move forward, and through Boym’s conception of nostalgia, use our past longings for positive future change. The medium scale thus created allows us to both promote active affective change while presented in a scale that keeps the threat of climate and environmental change present and real.
StatusUdgivet - 2022
BegivenhedNordic Association of English Studies Triennial Conference - Stockholm University, Stockholm, Sverige
Varighed: 11 maj 202213 maj 2022
Konferencens nummer: 14


KonferenceNordic Association of English Studies Triennial Conference
LokationStockholm University


Dyk ned i forskningsemnerne om 'The Medium Scale of Nostalgic Narratives in Climate Change Fiction'. Sammen danner de et unikt fingeraftryk.