The Great Derangement: Climate Change And The Unthinkable
  • The Great Derangement: Climate Change And The Unthinkable
  • The Great Derangement: Climate Change And The Unthinkable
ISBN: 022652681X
EAN13: 9780226526812
Language: English
Pages: 176
Dimensions: 0.59" H x 9.84" L x 5.91" W
Weight: 1.47 lbs.
Format: Paperback
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Book Overview

Are we deranged? The acclaimed Indian novelist Amitav Ghosh argues that future generations may well think so. How else to explain our imaginative failure in the face of global warming? In his first major book of nonfiction since In an Antique Land, Ghosh examines our inability--at the level of literature, history, and politics--to grasp the scale and violence of climate change.

The extreme nature of today's climate events, Ghosh asserts, make them peculiarly resistant to contemporary modes of thinking and imagining. This is particularly true of serious literary fiction: hundred-year storms and freakish tornadoes simply feel too improbable for the novel; they are automatically consigned to other genres. In the writing of history, too, the climate crisis has sometimes led to gross simplifications; Ghosh shows that the history of the carbon economy is a tangled global story with many contradictory and counterintuitive elements.

Ghosh ends by suggesting that politics, much like literature, has become a matter of personal moral reckoning rather than an arena of collective action. But to limit fiction and politics to individual moral adventure comes at a great cost. The climate crisis asks us to imagine other forms of human existence--a task to which fiction, Ghosh argues, is the best suited of all cultural forms. His book serves as a great writer's summons to confront the most urgent task of our time.

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Book Reviews (7)

5
  |   7  reviews
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5
   An excellent, informed
An excellent, informed, wide-ranging analysis of what the arts could do in the service of communicating climate change. Ghosh's three part structure allows him to face a remarkable breadth of social conditions that have left us unprepared and perhaps unable to face the challenge of climate. It is mainly pointed in its description of what it sees as the challenges for Asia and specifically for South Asia in preparing for this new era that is already upon us.
 
5
   Powerful thinking about cultural obstacles to climate change.
A complex analysis of climate change and the novelists'; avoidance of the issue in fiction. The dance between fiction and science fiction becomes the dilema for the writer who wants readers to embrace the plot.
 
4
   Climate change phenomenon from a novel perspective (see what I did there?)
Ghosh talks about why climate change is almost absent from literary novels. This is an excellent discussion and you get the sense that the reason novelists don 't include CC in their work is one and the same with why we don 't include it in our national lifediscussions. Which isn 't an answer in itself, but a pointing towards a mystery. Literary novels have conventional wisdom, as their foundation is a kind of facile knowledge of the world. Conventional wisdom can not grasp CC, probably because its implications spell the total and complete end of conventional wisdom. CC will make our knowing and grasping of the world largely extinct and along with that facile knowing will probably become extinct as we know it.
 
5
   Erudite & Insightful. Sophisticated world view.
The breadth of literature and authors quoted, is both Western and Asian quite stunning. This critique of the arts and especially literature draws a unique arc so bold that it is difficult to describe, nor can I convey the enlightening elevation of the arts above economics and politics. Even if you, like I, have read deeply in the Global Warming literature, you will find nearly all this particular work new to you.
 
5
   Deep Dive
This is the deepest analysis of the cultural causes of climate change that I have seen anywhere, and I have been looking. Delightfully not western in the point of view, yet well informed of it. Mr. Ghosh is also very good read in history and in literature. He is one of a very few people who could have written this book. A great contribution has been made by :
 
5
   If only the moron called president of the United States could read....
This is an outstanding analysis of the global warming disasters that are expected to be catastrophic and the total unpreparedness of the West to deal with it. I hope that this will not unfold during my children's lives...
 
5
   Everyone should read this important and beautifully written book
Climate change is the issue that overwhelms all others and yet is largely ignored by the public and our leaders.
 
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