Writing After Nature: A Sebaldian Ecopoetics

  • Jason Groves
Part of the Literatures, Cultures, and the Environment book series (LCE)


Although the melancholic disposition of Sebald’s narrators can threaten to engulf the narrative in a temporal stasis, texts ranging from the long poem After Nature to the travelog The Rings of Saturn are open to a futurity that should be of interest to critical ecological thought. This chapter reads sites of disturbance in Sebald’s writing as novel environments rather than merely the ongoing devastation of a traumatic past. The reduced ecologies of weeds and ruderals that comprise Sebald’s environmental imagination subtly celebrate the regenerative capacities of anthropogenic and non-anthropogenic ecological disturbances (storms, volcanoes, fires, and floods), they nourish a more-than-human future beyond the legacy of anthropogenic destruction, and they also yield an ecopoetics not predicated on an unpolluted atmosphere or unalienated life.


Silent Mutation Environmental Imagination Ecological Disturbance Mass Extinction Event Royal Dutch Shell 
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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jason Groves
    • 1
  1. 1.University of WashingtonSeattleUSA

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