“Everywhere, Worlds Connect”: Realist Poetics and the Ecologies of Capitalism
This chapter extends Lukács’s ideas of form and totality into new terrain, ecological and aesthetic, in the present, considering how particular literary works might consider the totality in socioecological terms. It explores how certain works of contemporary poetry provide a vantage on metabolic relations and rifts as shaping dimensions of contemporary life within capitalism. Examining recent books by Eleni Sikelianos and Jennifer Scappettone, this chapter claims that these texts epitomize a realist direction in contemporary poetics that conveys a planetary whole undergoing cataclysmic alteration. Such works provide an alternative to the idealist totalizations of Anthropocene discourse and its now-dominant tropes, instead offering a means of conceiving the complex and precarious metabolisms of earthly life in late capitalism.