Sunday, January 22, 2023

"Fossil-Fuel Faulkner"

New from Oxford University Press: Fossil-Fuel Faulkner: Energy, Modernity, and the US South by Jay Watson.

About the book, from the publisher:

Fossil-Fuel Faulkner is the first book-length study of a single writer in the emerging field of the energy humanities. As we try to imagine our way beyond a deeply problematic fossil energy regime that depletes and degrades the planet and sharpens the gap between Global North and Global South and move toward as more just and sustainable energy future, there is much to learn from how previous generations imagined the modern transition into a hydrocarbon-fueled world from the solar- and muscle-powered order that preceded it, and from how they imagined the consequences of that transition, including the new cultural forms it elicited and the new social problems it created.

Jay Watson turns to the life and writings of William Faulkner, creator of one of the richest imaginative landscapes in American literary history, for new insights into the deep-reaching connections linking the extraction, production, and use of energy resources in his native US South to its histories of slavery and Jim Crow, its ecologies of disruption and despoilation, the logic of its cultural practices, and the nuances of literary form. Surveying the author's personal and imaginative engagements with coal and oil, with modern automobility and the road narrative, and with the profligate energies of the sun and the human animal, Fossil-Fuel Faulkner explores nearly all of Faulkner's novels and over a dozen of his short stories, and reveals the author to be one of petromodernity's keenest chroniclers and critics.
--Marshal Zeringue