Surreal Entanglements: Essays on Jeff VanderMeer's Fiction
This edited collection approaches the most pressing discourses of the Anthropocene and posthumanist culture through the surreal, yet instructive lens of Jeff VanderMeer's fiction. In contrast to universalist and essentializing ways of responding to new material realities, VanderMeer's work invites us to re-imagine human subjectivity and other collectivities in the light of historically unique entanglements we face today: the ecological, technological, aesthetic, epistemological, and political challenges of life in the Anthropocene era. Situating these messy, multi-scalar, material complexities of life in close relation to their ecological, material, and colonialist histories, his fiction renders them at once troublingly familiar and strangely generative of other potentialities and insight. The collection measures VanderMeer's work as a new kind of speculative surrealism, his texts capturing the strangeness of navigating a world in which "nature" has become radically uncanny due to global climate change and powerful bio-technologies. The first collection to survey academic engagements with VanderMeer, this book brings together scholars in the fields of environmental literature, science fiction, genre studies, American literary history, philosophy of technology, and digital cultures to reflect on the environmentally, culturally, aesthetically, and politically central questions his fiction poses to predominant understandings of the Anthropocene.
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