<b>Submergence: On Transatlantic Ecocriticism, Islands and Archipelagos</b> // Sumersión: Sobre ecocrítica, islas y archipiélagos transatlánticos


  • John H Trevathan University of Montana




Ecocriticism, transatlantic studies, Catalan studies, Francesc Serés, José Lezama Lima, hydroelectric dams, Francoism // Ecocrítica, estudios transatlánticos, estudios catalanes, centrales hidroeléctricas, franquismo


      In Yo maté a Kennedy, Manuel Vázquez Montalbán wrote with irony: “ecological truth drives historical truth.” Today, the direct connection between ecological and historical truths is quite serious. In his polemical essay “Four Theses on Climate History,” Dipesh Chakrabarty argues that, in order to explain anthropogenic climate change, geological history should be included in human history. In other words, “ecological truth” should be integral to “historical truth.” What is missing in this observation is a sense of socio-political difference. What is needed is not a consideration of isolated regions, whether they are national, ecological or linguistic, but rather an analysis that investigates a constellation of social movements, objects and events. This means that transatlantic ecocriticism should consider how regions are connected, thinking in line with the logics of movements such as the indignados, vía campesina or altermundisme. This essay approaches a series of steps between Spain and Cuba, examining various texts and terrains that are stylistically and historically distinct. I focus on the tropes of the island and the archipelago in the works of Cuban poet José Lezama Lima and the Catalan writer Francesc Serés.



      En Yo maté a Kennedy, Manuel Vázquez Montalbán dice con ironía: “la verdad ecológica conduce a la verdad histórica.” Hoy en día, la conexión directa entre la verdad ecológica y la histórica es bastante seria. En su polémico ensayo “Four Theses on Climate History,” Dipesh Chakrabarty plantea que, para explicar el cambio climático antropogénico, la historia geológica debe ser incluida en la historia humana. Es decir, “la verdad ecológica” debe ser integral a “la verdad histórica.” Lo que falta en esta observación es un sentido de la diferencia socio-política. Lo que se necesita no es una consideración de regiones aisladas, ya sean nacionales, ecológicas o lingüísticas, sino un análisis que investigue una constelación de movimientos sociales, objetos y eventos. Esto quiere decir que la ecocrítica transatlántica debe considerar cómo se conectan las regiones, pensando de acuerdo con las lógicas de movimientos como los indignados, vía campesina o altermundisme. Este ensayo aborda una serie de pasos entre España y Cuba, examinando varios textos y terrenos que son estilísticamente e históricamente distintos. Me enfoco en los tropos de la isla y del archipiélago en las obras del poeta cubano José Lezama Lima y del escritor catalán Francesc Serés.


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Author Biography

John H Trevathan, University of Montana

Since 2012, John H. Trevathan has focused his research on ecocritical approaches to modern and contemporary Iberian and Ibero-American contexts. His book project, Beyond the Niche, focuses on the array of roles that nature and ecology play in either buttressing fixed notions of identity or unsettling these notions in the Iberian Peninsula. He currently holds a Visiting Professorship of Spanish at the University of Montana in the Department of Modern and Classical Languages.






Articles: South Atlantic Ecocriticism