In light of world literature/global fiction, I am happy to announce that, along with my continued interviews and author spotlights at the main site, I will be adding a new series to the Dragonfly.eco site: on eco-themed world fiction. I’ve been enjoying Adam Kirsch’s The Global Novel: Writing the World in the 21st Century. The Columbia Global Reports says of the book:
Acclaimed literary critic Adam Kirsch examines some of our most beloved writers, including Haruki Murakami, Elena Ferrante, Roberto Bolaño, and Margaret Atwood, to better understand literature in the age of globalization. The global novel, he finds, is not so much a genre as a way of imagining the world, one that allows the novel to address both urgent contemporary concerns—climate change, genetic engineering, and immigration—along with timeless themes, such as morality, society, and human relationships. Whether its stories take place on the scale of the species or the small town, the global novel situates its characters against the widest background of the imagination. The way we live now demands nothing less than the global perspective our best novelists have to offer.
In research, I often come across events around the world that deal with eco-literature–such as India’s eco-fiction book fair in 2017, France’s Ecofiction Festival, the Portuguese Solarpunk Anthology by Gerson Lodi-Ribeiro (which is in the process of being translated to English)–and on and on. At eco-fiction.com, where I have had a monthly spotlight of authors who tackle climate change in their novels, I have also featured novels in the database that are set in, or written by, authors from around the world. Examples include stories from Finland, Taiwan, Philippines, Ireland, Australia, France, England, India, Japan, China, Spain, Sri Lanka, Senegal, Sudan, Mexico, Brazil, Peru, New Zealand–every continent is found in the database. Still, the majority of novels expressed in modern media are North American or European, and not enough media attention has been placed on the global novel in the sense of world eco-literature. I want to change this.
In the mindset of this idea, at the start of January, I added a translate button at the main Eco-fiction site, hoping to expand readership and raise aware of climate change and other environmental issues in fiction, particularly in written works (though there is also a small film database at the main site). I also launched the Dragonfly.eco website, with the description:
Ecologically oriented writers workshop, library, and resources for authors and readers in a changing world: Dragonfly.eco is a place for writing and reading meaningful stories about our natural world, including fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and prose.
One of the key phrases above is for authors and readers in a changing world. In this day and age, new genres embrace ecological crises, but world fiction seems to be one that explores a hyperobject within a local setting and brings that crisis to a global consciousness and understanding. One hyperobject is climate change–something that, no matter where we live in the world, is a thing that we all face–each and everyone of us.
In his book, Kirsch states:
The global novel exists, not as a genre separated from and opposed to other kinds of fiction, but as a perspective that governs the interpretation of experience. In this way, it is faithful to the way the global is actually lived–not through the abolition of place, but as a theme by which place is mediated. Life lived here is experienced in its profound and often unsettling connections with life lived elsewhere, and everywhere. The local gains dignity, and significance, insofar as it can be seen as a part of a worldwide phenomenon.
The new series starts in May-June 2018. I will hold the series at this site, in order to help grow the Writer’s Workshop, and will continue to provide world-wide reference to authors and readers interested in what’s going on in this field of literature.
The featured image (lotus flower) is by Peripitus – Own work, GFDL