Publisher: Adhyayan Publishers & Distributors 1st Edition 2017
Price: Rs. 875/-
Reviewed by Sandip Kumar Mishra
Research Scholar, School of Humanities, KIIT University, Bhubaneswar, India. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
During the course of data collection for my research in Ecocriticism, I came across a recently published book on the critical theory. The book, Perspective on Ecocritical Studies (2017) is an anthology of critical articles on the representation of environment and nature in some literary works. It explores a wide range of reading in Ecocritical perspectives. In this book, authors have successfully presented the different point of views with help of works in which environment and its parts have been represented whether negatively or positively. There are few chapters of the book very important to get a sense of ecocritical history, historical importance, and its terminologies. Some article present ecofeminist approach to writing through the help of literary works. The book proves to be a seminal and phenomenal in the field of Ecocritical studies.
If we have a bird’s eye view of the book, we can divide it into two parts. The first one deals with ecocriticism as a theory in general and the next part the theory has been explored with reference to the context. The preface of the book has set the tune of what the editor wants to focus on it. Mr. Avodh Prajapati, a Guest Faculty of the University of Allahabad has dedicated the book to all Environmentalists and Humanists of the World. The short but apt introduction to the green theory has been provided with its expansion in recent years. He has clearly narrated how ecocriticism evolved as a theory and an academic discipline. The importance of the publication of seminal books like The Ecocriticism Reader and the Environmental Imagination that heralded the movement has been clearly stated. The editor has summed up all the chapters to have a quick glance of the book. The bio-note of all the writers having prospects of being ecocritics has also been given in the initial pages. There are seventeen chapters dealing with the ecocritical perspectives. There is the Index part also at the end of the book. All these have indicated that the book is going to an important contribution to ecocriticism.
The book has as many as four chapters dealing with Ecocriticism as a genre. The very first chapter entitled “Representation of Nature and Environment in World Literature” by Anju Dhir is an exploration of how nature writing evolved as ecocritical writing since Romantic Age. C.Blessy’s Perspectives on Eco-critical Studies” has special attention to the works of Chinua Achebe and Franz Fanon. It also presents a short description of the origin and history of the term. The chapter “Ecocriticism: A New Theory of Reading Literature” is very important to the theme of the book. Dr. Mangesh M Gore’s article in the concluding chapter named “Seminal Aspects of Eco-criticism” intends to discuss various aspects of Ecocriticism. It also presents the function of ecocritics. The chapter “Ecosophy and Vision Quest” written collaboratively by Samjaila Th, Dr. Soumya Jose and Dr. Sony Jalarajan Raj analyses the concept of ecosophy and deep ecology that explores the organic wholeness between humans and non-humans. Antara Saha’s article “An Exegesis of Ecocriticism” has also explored the different aspects of ecocriticism.
Apart from articles of ecocriticism as a theory, the book celebrates the ecocritical praxis of some immortal works of literature particularly some popular novels. Vishesh Kumar has expressed his environmental consciousness through special reference to one of the best novels by Munsi Prem Chand named The Godan in his paper “Ecocritical Perspectives in The Godan”. In the chapter “Breaking the circle: Exploring the Context of Ecofeminism in Margaret Atwood’s Surfacing” Poulomi Modak has critically examined Atwood’s novel from an ecofeminist’s viewpoint. Dipak Giri in his article called “A Study of Arundhati Roy’s The God of Small Things” has also studied the novel from the perspectives of Ecofeminism. In the chapter “Self-transplantation and Rootlessness” Sunil Uttam has critically examined some novels of V.S. Naipal where the main focus is self transplantation and rootlessness. In another chapter named “Ecocritical Study of Anita Desai’s Fire on the Mountain” Ali Mojiz has exposed the environmental phenomenal dimension of the novel. But the book not only focuses on the ecocritical perspectives in novels. Some articles have focused on the green aspects of poetry. The editor himself has written a paper on a well known contemporary poet, Syed Ameeruddin and his poetic collection, Patellic Love Times. Here he writes,
Worldwide environmental awareness is being created by academicians, thinkers, and environmentalists to protect and preserve eco system by living more and more eco-friendly and to bring about environmental conservation through protection of flora and fauna by providing clean energy and sustainable development. Today world peace is threatened not only by warfare conflicts but also lack of due respect for nature and its elements. It is being disturbed by its irresponsible and reckless exploitation and destruction. (118)
Dr. Chittaranjan Mishra’s article on “Haldhar Nag’s Odyssey through Poetry” is about the poet who has made ordinary look uncommon and extraordinary. Goutam Karmakar’s paper “Unmasking the Ecocritical Imperatives” explores ecoconsciousness and the resistance discourse of in the selected poems of Vihang A. Naik and Muhammad Haji Salleh. All these articles will help the new researchers about how to interpret a text from ecocritical praxis.
The book is a useful entry into green cultural theory. The new researchers while going through it, will get a clear concept of the new theory arrived in an age of global environmental crisis. The Index at the end pages having a detailed glossary of ecocritical terms will certainly help the scholars of Ecocriticism. The beauty of the book lies in its critical space given by the Indian ecocritics for expanding the horizon of the theory into practice. To conclude, the book offers an extensive appreciation of eco-literature to shape the concept of the emerging theory. In a very simple language, the anthology explores different aspects of ecocriticism to build up a critical approach to the theory by the future researchers. The articles in the book are well researched and focus on the new dimension to the theory. The hard cover of the book is protective and the quality of pages and printing is excellent and the price is very much affordable.
Prajapati, Ram Avadh (2017). Perspectives on Ecocritical Studies. New Delhi: Adhyayan.
Sandip is a research scholar in Ecocriticism at KIIT University. A firm believer in the social and environmental justice, he is working with ecocriticism with the dream of a greener earth. His doctoral thesis explores the ecocritical praxis of Bibhutibhushan Bandyopadhyay’s select novels. He has already presented papers in two National and two International Conferences held in Vidyasagar University, St. Paul’s Cathedral Mission College, Maharshi Markandeswar University, and Berhampur University respectively. His articles have been published in books and international journals listed by UGC.