Collective Unconsciousness: Climate Change and Responsibility in Ian McEwan’s Solar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

This paper makes links between issues of responsibility, climate change and contemporary literature, using Ian McEwan’s Solar as a case study. The paper addresses not only oversights in the existing critical responses to the novel, but identifies important insights that the novel can offer into a frontier of the politics of climate change: collective responsibility. Using and adapting Fredric Jameson’s theory of the ‘Political Unconscious’, the paper argues that many dominant conceptions about how to act on climate change (and other environmental problems) are based on patently outdated modes of political thought, especially those oriented around conceptions of individual responsibility. Using Jameson’s framework, this paper offers a way of reading beyond the failings of dominant modes of thinking to the anticipations of collective responsibility and action which exist in the margins of literary texts. By way of conclusion the paper offers some reflections on how an ecocriticism guided by such a reading strategy can inform the work of an experimental environmental activism.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)18-35
Number of pages18
JournalGeoHumanities
Volume5
Issue number1
Early online date18 Jan 2019
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2019

Keywords

  • climate change
  • ecocriticism
  • responsibility
  • environmental political theory

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Collective Unconsciousness: Climate Change and Responsibility in Ian McEwan’s Solar'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this