Abstract

Abstract:

The concept of the sublime informs Jack Kerouac's 1962 novel Big Sur in several ways, particularly when it comes to the novel's engagement with ecocritical questions, including consumption and the interrelationships between humans and nature. The novel paints a bleak portrait of nature, seemingly due to the inner turmoil of the main character, Jack Duluoz. However, it is fruitful to read the depiction of nature as one going beyond a mere reflection of Jack's inner state. Taking seriously the threatening aspects of Big Sur and reading against the concepts of the sublime and the Anthropocene reveal the novel's interrogation of the cost of human exploitation of the land, as well as its commitment to analyzing the complexities of the relationship between human and nonhuman, nature and artifact.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1529-1464
Print ISSN
0022-281X
Pages
pp. 152-164
Launched on MUSE
2020-04-02
Open Access
No
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