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Time, Extinction and Accumulation: Reading Henrietta Rose-Innes’s Green Lion

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Part of the New Comparisons in World Literature book series (NCWL)

Abstract

This chapter offers a reading of Green Lion, a novel by contemporary South African writer Henrietta Rose-Innes. The novel deals with pressing issues in world-ecology, revealing dialectical interconnections between historical processes of extinction, conservation and the commodification of natural forms. The story revolves around the project to revive an extinct native species, the dark-maned Cape lion, through a breeding programme in Cape Town zoo. The project, however, is destined to fail and living lions are in the end replaced by a taxidermy collection. The failures of conservation, however, do not exhaust Rose-Innes’s narrative, which also presents non-synchronic temporalities—anticipatory, utopian and mystical—driving the clandestine activities of the Green Lion, a secret society of animal lovers.

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Liverpool John Moores UniversityLiverpoolUK

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