Accepting the X: Uncanny Encounters with Nature and the Wilderness in Jeff Vandermeer’s The Southern Reach Trilogy

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Méndez García, Carmen M. (2020) Accepting the X: Uncanny Encounters with Nature and the Wilderness in Jeff Vandermeer’s The Southern Reach Trilogy. In Avenging nature: the role of nature in modern and contemporary art and literature. Ecocritical theory and practice . Lexington Books, an imprint of The Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group, Inc., Lanham (Maryland), pp. 165-178. ISBN 978-1-7936-2144-3 / e-ISBN 978-1-7936-2145-0 (epub)

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Abstract

This article examines the subversion of traditional human approaches to nature in Jeff VanderMeer’s Southern Reach trilogy, and how the mysterious, uncanny nature at the heart of the books may, eventually, remain completely unexplainable in human terms. VanderMeer uses tropes from classic adventure fiction to question our human ability, based on rationality, and exemplified in the use of language and scientific tools, to comprehend, fight, or explain the trilogy’s main space, Area X. The final, uncomfortable suggestion that the wild nature of Area X has to be accepted, not controlled or understood, is supplemented with the intimation that said nature and its animals may survive and transcend humanity and the Anthropocene itself. The triumph of uncanny, undomesticated and alien fauna becomes a symbol not of death but of life, even if it is a life that does not include humanity as its center or its organizing axis.


Item Type:Book Section
Uncontrolled Keywords:Jeff VanderMeer; Southern Reach trilogy; Uncanny; Anthropocene; Space.
Subjects:Humanities > Philology > Authors
Humanities > Philology > Literature
Humanities > Philology > Prose literature
Humanities > Philology > English philology
ID Code:71248
Deposited On:15 Mar 2022 17:39
Last Modified:16 Mar 2022 20:02

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