Volume 16, Issue 63 (2023)                   LCQ 2023, 16(63): 107-144 | Back to browse issues page

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Atefepour L, parsapoor Z. Ecophobic Reading of Literary Texts. LCQ 2023; 16 (63) :107-144
URL: http://lcq.modares.ac.ir/article-29-71629-en.html
1- Visiting Professor of Allameh Tabatabai University , l.atefepur@gmail.com
2- Associate Professor of Persian Language and Literature, Research Institute of Human Sciences
Abstract:   (2441 Views)
Coined by Simon C. Estok, ecophobia is a prominent and new approach to ecocriticism and environmental ethics, mainly defined as irrational and groundless hatred of the natural world. The ecophobic reading investigates unwanted human biases towards the environment based on irrational fear and hatred of bio-environmental manifestations in literary works. Ecophobia originates from the duality of self/other, leading to xenophobia in the shadow of an irrational fear of the other, i.e., a woman, race, or other species, in this Coined by Simon C. Estok, ecophobia is a prominent and new approach to ecocriticism and environmental ethics, mainly defined as irrational and groundless hatred of the natural world. The ecophobic reading investigates unwanted human biases towards the environment based on irrational fear and hatred of bio-environmental manifestations in literary works. Ecophobia originates from the duality of self/other, leading to xenophobia in the shadow of an irrational fear of the other. Naturophobia, misogyny, racism, and speciesism occur in a context of xenophobia, and many human behaviors in the face of nature and other human beings arise from fear, and this xenophobia leads to domineering behaviors. After presenting theoretical foundations, the study sought to explain the ecophobic components in literary works and how to apply ecophobia in literary criticism. Ecophobia reads literary works anew, trying to improve this relationship by analyzing and examining the relationship between humans and nature in an ecophobic context and expressing the origins of these fears. The research result demonstrates that two distinct types of ecophobia in literary works can be identified. By displaying neglected environmental fears, those works can play a significant role in correcting human relationships with the environment and making us sensitive to our behavior with the Earth.
Extended Abstract
Coined by Simon C. Estok, ecophobia is a prominent and new approach to ecocriticism and environmental ethics, mainly defined as irrational and groundless hatred of the natural world. The ecophobic reading investigates unwanted human biases towards the environment based on irrational fear and hatred of bio-environmental manifestations in literary works. Ecophobia originates from the duality of self/other, leading to xenophobia in the shadow of an irrational fear of the other, i.e., a woman, race, or other species, i.e., nature. Naturophobia, misogyny, racism, and speciesism occur in the context of xenophobia, and many human behaviors in the face of nature and other human beings arise from fear, and this xenophobia leads to domineering behaviors. After presenting theoretical foundations, the study sought to explain the ecophobic components in literary works and how to apply ecophobia in literary criticism. Ecophobia reads literary works anew, trying to improve this relationship by analyzing and examining the relationship between humans and nature in an ecophobic context and expressing the origins of these fears. The research result demonstrates that two distinct types of ecophobia in literary works can be identified. The first type determines a mythological and historical attitude based on the fears and worries of the past about nature and its phenomena. Expanding our knowledge, understanding, and facilities could have eliminated most fears and worries of phenomena such as earthquakes, floods, storms, droughts, darkness, predatory animals, and even natural changes in the human body, such as illness and aging. Thus, this criticism can bring these fears from our collective unconscious to the level of consciousness and even replace ecophilia with ecophobia in that context. The second type identifies the fear and worries that literature creates in us with all its imaginative and rhetorical capacity to warn about the dangerous phenomena and processes that quietly and secretly take shape and make us aware of the present and future environmental dangers. Such works can play a significant role in correcting the relationship between humans and the environment by showing neglected environmental fears such as water pollution, waste accumulation, nuclear contamination, and species extinction and make us sensitive to our actions with the Earth. Altogether, as the writers try to remove the baseless and unnecessary environmental fears in today's world, enlightening and giving the necessary warnings about the upcoming dangers in terms of human interference in nature, in some of their literary works, they depict our love and need for the nature. Accordingly, various artistic expressions of ecophilia in literary works can create a caring and eco-friendly attitude in the reader by using imagination and emotion effectively. Ecophobic criticism leads to identifying the emotional ethics of texts in terms of what values of nature the text conveys to the reader and what view and feeling it establishes in him/her towards nature phenomena.
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Article Type: Original Research | Subject: Literary theory
Received: 2023/09/19 | Accepted: 2024/01/20 | Published: 2024/01/30

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