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Ecosickness in Contemporary U.S. FictionEnvironment and Affect$
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Heather Houser

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780231165143

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231165143.001.0001

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How Does it Feel?

(p.217) Conclusion
Ecosickness in Contemporary U.S. Fiction

Heather Houser

Columbia University Press

This chapter concludes that ecosickness fiction suggests that environmentalist practices and lived relations to the environment more generally rest on an affective substrate. Approaching practice thus requires a theoretical understanding of emotion, and this understanding arises through critical engagements with representational genres and devices. In this respect, then, a text's environmentalist status falls as much on the reader and critic as on the author. The works that this book has studied consider how affect, and the cultural templates that activate it, either advance or block the transformations that environmental organizations promote. One benefit of the analytical categories of sickness and affect is that they put literary fiction in conversation with these environmental activists as well as other cultural producers. Surveying ecosickness discourse within these arenas reinforces the importance of narrative affect to environmental and somatic awareness.

Keywords:   ecosickness fiction, affect, environmentalist practices, ecosickness discourse, narrative affect, environmental awareness

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