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About Time!: The Abyss of the Future and End(s) of Subjectivity in (Climate) Dystopias

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

Published
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>15/12/2019
<mark>Journal</mark>e-cadernos CES
Volume32
Number of pages24
Pages (from-to)103-126
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English

Abstract

As the climate emergency becomes tangible, its intractability within current paradigms suggests the need to envision and enact new “worlds” and forms of subjectivity. This has proven difficult, also in popular culture. In literature and film, dystopia and catastrophe are a frequent resort to narrate a post-climate crisis world. Building on scholarship critical of this tendency, the article zooms in on two dystopian novels, The Water Knife (Bacigalupi, 2015) and La galassia dei dementi (Cavazzoni, 2018), and contrasts the subjective positions these two “nightmares” project onto a future disaster – based on a melancholic mourning of loss, and on a shared condition of lack, respectively. The article argues that, while the former risks resuscitating established ways of “being human” – part of the crises that climate change symptomatizes –, the latter can facilitate imagining new and more just socio-ecological constellations.