The Dark Ecology of Elegy

Timothy Morton

in The Oxford Handbook of the Elegy

Published in print April 2010 | ISBN: 9780199228133
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks of Literature

 The Dark Ecology of Elegy

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This article discusses the dark ecology of elegy. It also explains the materiality of elegy as essentially environmental, but with a difference. It then goes even further by positing a resistance to the collapse of subject-object dualism so dear to deep ecology, and once so dear to the historical definitions of Romanticism. This dark ecology surprisingly provides Cartesian dualism as a corrective to the naivety of deep ecology's efforts to vivify matter. Ecological elegy asks to mourn for something that has not completely passed, that perhaps has not even passed yet. The elegiac occasion of Alastor could not be more strange and powerful. Alastor offers the possibility of a noir ecology. Dark ecology refuses to digest plants and animals and humans into ideal forms.

Keywords: dark ecology; ecological elegy; subject-object dualism; Romanticism; Cartesian dualism; Alastor

Article.  10233 words. 

Subjects: Literature ; Literary Theory and Cultural Studies

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