Dr Sarah Dillon, ‘The Horror of the Anthropocene’


Dr Sarah Dillon, University of Cambridge, ‘The Horror of the Anthropocene’, Wednesday 2nd March, 4.15-5.30, MC0024

‘The Horror of the Anthropocene’

Launching off the eventual publication of Beckett’s short story ‘Echo’s Bones’ in 2014, this paper proposes that the early twenty-first century is beginning to see, and will continue to see, a literary mainstream incorporation of the story moves of the horror genre akin to the literary mainstream incorporation of the story moves of science fiction which we witnessed in the late twentieth century. Working with John Clute’s distinction between affect horror and genre horror, the paper presents four strands of argument and evidence in support of this theory: the first is sociological; the second draws from science; the third from philosophy; and the fourth is an act of literary critical close reading of Cormac McCarthy’s ‘The Road’.

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