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From his Rimbaldian early poetry to his tri-continental and globe-spanning novels, The Savage Detectives and 2666, Bolaño maintains a critically “exilic” distance from both literary and political forms of nationalism. Writing, in his own words, from a ‘wild’ space ‘equally distant from all the countries in the world’, Bolaño inscribes poetry in particular under the weight of a double destitution: as a synecdoche for poverty, exile, errancy and disappearance, on the one hand, and for a will to become ungovernable on the other. Yet, in mapping out the cumulative wanderings of these errant poet-underdogs, Bolaño’s oeuvre does not stop at exposing the ‘nation’ to its anomic ‘unhomeliness’ in times of globalization. Indeed, in radicalizing both Baudelaire’s spirit of indifference to social forms and Melville’s dismantling of the narrative form, Bolaño exposes both world and work to radical contingency, making the errant poetic-underdog the figure of radical ungovernability. Tracing these constellations through brief discussions of ‘The Romantic Dogs’, The Savage Detectives, Amulet, a selection of short stories from Putas asesinas, 2666, and Antwerp, the chapter draws its theoretical inspiration from Giorgio Agamben’s essay ‘What is a Destituent Power’.
Ethical quandaries – such as justice and equity for under-represented communities, treatment of animals in laboratory and field research, and editing the genomes of plants, animals, and humans – are becoming ever more insistent in socio-environmental research. Accordingly, socio-environmental research requires that natural and social scientists become conversant with the humanities and that humanists actively engage, in accessible terms, the conceptual and ethical concerns arising in the sciences. Research methods in the humanities differ – where scholars begin with a thesis instead of a hypothesis – from those in the natural and social sciences. While the methodological differences between research in the humanities and the sciences render interdisciplinary cooperation and even communication between these two broad types of inquiry difficult, this section draws attention to the important contributions that ethical, religous, and historical approaches have made to understanding the reciprocal relationships between society and environment. These contributions range from scholars such as Aldo Leopold, Lynn White, and William Cronon to Vandana Shiva, Leonardo Boff, and Gregory Cajete.
The chapter provides an overview of literary predecessors whose influence is evident across Mailer’s work, but perhaps most notably in his early work: John Dos Passos, James T. Farrell, William Faulkner, D. H. Lawrence, Henry Miller, Theodore Dreiser, Herman Melville, John Steinbeck, Thomas Wolfe, and Leo Tolstoy, among others.
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