restricted access Imagining Afghanistan in Deep Time: Nadeem Aslam and the Aesthetics of the Geologic Turn


This paper discusses Nadeem Aslam's Afghanistan-based novels as exemplifying the affordances of what I call the "geologic turn" in writing traumatic histories in the era of the Anthropocene. Through its attention to the earth as a medium of memory and to war as a multispecies ecology, Aslam's work brings into view geo-mediation—a nonlinguistic, nonhuman witness to human-borne disaster. Aslam's treatment of the military interventions in Afghanistan foregrounds slow and systemic violence, habitat diminishment, and ecosystem degradation, while upholding the resilience of the earth and humanity in deep time.