“Through the Eyes of Area X”: (Dis)Locating Ecological Hope via New Weird Spatiality
With Jeff VanderMeer’s Southern Reach trilogy (2014) as a case study, Gry Ulstein’s chapter argues that the New Weird plays with narrative perspectives and other literary strategies in order to interrogate and evolve Old Weird tropes and conventions. In this way, the New Weird moves beyond nihilism and cosmic dread, and therefore stands to generate a more hopeful response to the environmental crisis. Both Old and New Weird spatiality focus on the unknown, nonhuman outside intruding into human reality and threatening human subjectivity. This chapter argues that the new weird imbues such nonhuman encounters with a fraught hope for a world after the destabilization of the human subject, offering new perspectives on how to navigate the increasingly weirded time of the Anthropocene.
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