Saturday, August 27, 2016

''Srinath Perur'' is first Indian lit critic to stand up to Ghosh and say ''you are wrong about #clifi'' #SF #genres

''Srinath Perur'' is first Indian lit critic to stand up to Ghosh and say ''you are wrong about #clifi'' #SF #genres


Amitav Ghosh's ''The Great Derangement'': A wide-ranging enquiry into climate change

......Ghosh’s analysis is intricate and erudite, and for the most part defies easy summary. He builds arguments by bringing together personal stories, folklore, the work of writers, anthropologists, philosophers, scientists, economists, ecologists, historians, and even the pope. ....Climate change might be more effectively communicated through images rather than "our accustomed logocentrism". (And though Ghosh doesn’t say so, there’s a pretty basic failure of logos in those tepid terms we use —‘global warming’ sounds distinctly cosy, and ‘climate change’ calls for a cardigan rather than an effort to avert catastrophe.)

Which is why I found it curious that Ghosh more than once brings up the matter of ‘serious fiction’ and its upturned nose. WTF?

To bring up climate change in a novel, Ghosh writes, “is in fact to court eviction from the mansion in which serious fiction has long been in residence; it is to risk banishment to the humbler dwellings that surround the manor house…” WTF?

But why take serious fiction so seriously? After all, its conventions don’t have a monopoly on human imagination. The lines between categories of fiction are blurry at best, and if something called science fiction or climate fiction can better accommodate what is urgent, then maybe we should let it. YES YES YES!

As Caroline Kormann wrote in a 2013 survey of climate-change novels, “Today, novels that would once have been called science fiction can be read as social realism.” That might be even truer of tomorrow.

Is it possible that non-fiction is in some ways better-suited for imaginative writing around the climate crisis? NO NO NO!

The Great Derangement: Climate Change and the Unthinkable
Amitav Ghosh

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