Postcolonial Literature and Land Art in the Anthropocene

  • Carmen Concilio Università di Torino Dipartimento di lingue e letterature straniere e culture moderne
Parole chiave: Anglophone Literature, Land Art, Bioart, Anthropocene, Human-Non Human Cooperation


This paper analyses the relationships between literature and land art, in a comparative and cooperative perspective. A feeble monument in Kenya, erected by Karen Blixen and dedicated to her beloved, finds echoes in a paper installation by Canadian artist Marlene Creates. Both monuments present a strong gender signature. J.M. Coetzee's novel In the Heart of the Country (1976) includes writing with stones in the Karoo desert not dissimilarly from what children do in a popular game, where they draw with stones. Finally, Margaret Atwood provides a memorable example of bioart and ecoart in her novel The Year of the Flood (2009), where insects co-participate in the artistic project, right as South African artist William Kentridge managed to produce drawings and a film with ants. All these examples show a cooperative approach to art between humans and non-humans, be they rocks, insects, bones.


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