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The Lie of the Land: Decadence, Ecology, and Arboreal Communications

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  09 December 2021


Focusing on Vernon Lee's and Algernon Blackwood's portrayals of forests, this article argues that decadent ecology questions the privileging of humans over other sentient beings in relation to the moral conscriptions intending to channel attachments and desires toward productivist purposes. It addresses the ways in which these authors undermine human assumptions of self-control and managerial authority by encouraging an opening up to the affective communications of ecosystems. Raising questions central to eco-studies in general, Lee's and Blackwood's works challenge ideas of human communicative superiority and extensionism through representations of humility, trepidatious veneration, and a sense of the imagination as a potential channel for affection across species.

Research Article
Copyright © The Author(s), 2021. Published by Cambridge University Press

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