Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home
Hostname: page-component-768dbb666b-9qwsl Total loading time: 0.518 Render date: 2023-02-04T20:24:39.179Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: { "useRatesEcommerce": false } hasContentIssue true

2 - Literal and Literary Atmospheres

from Part I - Historical Shifts in Climate Consciousness

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  31 March 2022

Adeline Johns-Putra
Affiliation:
Xi'an Jiaotong-Liverpool University, China
Kelly Sultzbach
Affiliation:
University of Wisconsin, La Crosse
Get access

Summary

This chapter reviews how literary and literal atmospheres have cut across each other in complex transactions of meaning and practice over the past 400 years. It traces how atmosphere was first literalised in early modern science, in a process that identified air as a new object of empirical knowledge while also awarding a new meaning of empirical objectivity to literalness. It then shows how this scientifically literal atmosphere was taken up in an expanded set of metaphoric and figurative uses from around 1800, in which such formulations as ‘political atmosphere’ and ‘poetic atmosphere’ breathed new life into traditional understandings of air that had moved fluidly between the spiritual and the empirical. The large-scale cultural re-metaphoricisation of air in this period formed the platform for the emergence of literary atmosphere as a specific practice of double troping, in which aerial figures were reflexively marked as at once figurative and literal. That marking proved integral to the emergence of both modernist poetry and the modern novel. But the discursive divisions and oppositions that underwrote it are brought under unprecedented pressure by climate change, which therefore requires new methods for the writing and reading of literary atmospheres.

Type
Chapter
Information
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2022

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

Save book to Kindle

To save this book to your Kindle, first ensure coreplatform@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about saving to your Kindle.

Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

Available formats
×

Save book to Dropbox

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Dropbox.

Available formats
×

Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

Available formats
×