Georgic Echoes in 'The Long Dry' and 'The Dig' by Cynan Jones

Authors

  • Angelo Monaco University of Bari

Keywords:

Cynan Jones, eco-georgic, narrative form, human, non-human

Abstract

From his debut novel, The Long Dry (2006), to his most recent, Stillicide (2019), the non-human has played a prominent role in Cynan Jones’ fiction. Of Jones’ texts, The Long Dry and The Dig (2014) specifically engage with cultivation, farming, and raising livestock in a Welsh rustic setting. Both novels present a rural world that resists idealised forms of representing nature as some kind of idyll, thus calling into question the separation between human and non-human. Starting from this premise, my working hypothesis is that the relationship between human and non-human constitutes a relevant trope in Jones’ fiction since they are both caught in the very same moment of crisis, change and transformation. To this end, I would like to read The Long Dry and The Dig through Timothy Morton’s idea of the mesh that connects human to non-human. Firstly, I will discuss the generic features of the novels, such as shifting focalisation and temporal disorientation which can be said to favour an encounter between storytelling and material reality. Secondly, I will address Jones’ interest in the erosion of the border between human and non-human, illustrating the affective bonds and sensory ties that connect both dimensions. Taken together, Jones’ novels entail a deep eco-georgic stance in that rural life is recast in terms of a thematic and material space that brings together human and non-human, conflating change and crisis, failure and success.

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Author Biography

Angelo Monaco, University of Bari

Angelo Monaco, Ph.D. from the University of Pisa (2017), is a junior researcher in English Language and Translation at the University of Bari “Aldo Moro”. He has published articles and chapters on contemporary Anglophone fiction, with a special interest in postcolonialism, trauma studies and ecocriticism, in edited volumes or in such journals as Commonwealth Essays and Studies, ISLE, and Postcolonial Text. He is the author of Jhumpa Lahiri. Vulnerabilità e resilienza (ETS Edizioni, 2019).

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Published

2021-10-28

Issue

Section

Articles: Eco-Georgic: From Antiquity to the Anthropocene