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Durham University

Department of English Studies


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Publication details for Professor Timothy Clark

Clark, Timothy (2015). Ecocriticism on the Edge: The Anthropocene as a Threshold Concept. London: Bloomsbury.

Author(s) from Durham


The twenty-first century has seen an increased awareness of the forms of environmental destruction that cannot immediately be seen, localised or, by some, even acknowledged.

Ecocriticism on the Edge explores the possibility of a new mode of critical practice, one fully engaged with the destructive force of the planetary environmental crisis. Timothy Clark argues that, in literary and cultural criticism, the “Anthropocene”, which names the epoch in which human impacts on the planet's ecological systems reach a dangerous limit, also represents a threshold at which modes of interpretation that once seemed sufficient or progressive become, in this new counterintuitive context, inadequate or even latently destructive. The book includes analyses of literary works, including texts by Paule Marshall, Gary Snyder, Ben Okri, Henry Lawson, Lorrie Moore and Raymond Carver.


Some material from the last REF submission reappears adapted in this book. About 3,200 words in Chapter Five (“Scale Framing: A Reading”) are recycled material from “Derangements of Scale,” in Telemorphosis: Essays in Critical Climate Change, Vol. 1, ed. Tom Cohen and Henry Sussman. Ann Arbor, MI: Open Humanities Press (Distributed through University of Michigan Library) 2012. About 2,100 words in Chapter Two (“The Whole Earth Image”), are from “What on World is the Earth?: The Anthropocene and Fictions of the World,” in Oxford Literary Review 35 (2013), pp. 5-24.

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