The Great Derangement

The Great Derangement

Climate Change and the Unthinkable

Book - 2016
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Are we deranged? The acclaimed Indian novelist Amitav Ghosh argues that future generations may well think so. How else to explain our imaginative failure in the face of global warming? In his first major book of nonfiction since In an Antique Land, Ghosh examines our inability—at the level of literature, history, and politics—to grasp the scale and violence of climate change. The extreme nature of today’s climate events, Ghosh asserts, make them peculiarly resistant to contemporary modes of thinking and imagining. This is particularly true of serious literary fiction: hundred-year storms and freakish tornadoes simply feel too improbable for the novel; they are automatically consigned to other genres. In the writing of history, too, the climate crisis has sometimes led to gross simplifications; Ghosh shows that the history of the carbon economy is a tangled global story with many contradictory and counterintuitive elements. Ghosh ends by suggesting that politics, much like literature, has become a matter of personal moral reckoning rather than an arena of collective action. But to limit fiction and politics to individual moral adventure comes at a great cost. The climate crisis asks us to imagine other forms of human existence—a task to which fiction, Ghosh argues, is the best suited of all cultural forms. His book serves as a great writer’s summons to confront the most urgent task of our time.
Publisher: Chicago ; London : The University of Chicago Press, 2016
ISBN: 9780226323039
Branch Call Number: 809.9336 GH
Characteristics: 196 pages ; 23 cm


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Jul 08, 2017

A complicated book but very thought provoking. It gave me new ideas on a well read subject. Tying in literature, religion & culture into the scientific ar na of climate change, he makes an overlooked point. We won't be able to truly take in climate change to nail we see it from many perspectives. It was a difficult book to read, chapters don't lead from one to the next. But I've hardly stopped thinking about it.

Nov 27, 2016

Thoughtful and thought-provoking, Ghosh examines climate change through the lens of literature and finds literary fiction lacking.


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