Gloss on Global Warming, Globalization, and Environmental Literary History

Gloss on Global Warming, Globalization, and Environmental Literary History

There is perhaps nothing in either R/romanticism or neo-Romanticism that requires identification with critical naivete and ignorance, here, or with necessarily less theoretically sophisticated approaches than the alternatives to be proposed in what follows. Indeed, there is an argument to be made that R/romanticism is in fact the best name for that “masocritical” insurgency, undertaken from within the Erinnerung of Euro-Atlantic modernity, which, in its preservation of a figure of strong and even incommensurable “local” difference, stands the best chance of contacting the opposition traced by this essay’s invocations of “refutation,” “resistance in the present,” and the pragmatically unaddressable “incommensurability of the problems we face.” Indeed, one might say that in context of a certain natural (and not at all illegitimate) tendency to statism, in the profoundly bureaucratic institution of the academy, R/romantic anticapitalism is, as the work of Michael Löwy suggests, too easily dismissed—and that it is as good a vehicle as any for the specific critical package described in item #2 (“Internationalism and Politics”), below: not “post-colonial theory” as a perhaps finally inter-statist accommodation of (any new) global order (in the new national transnationalisms and hemispherizations, the new global comparatisms, and so on), but anticolonial criticism as insistence on local autonomy and self-determination, in setting multiple, epistemically distributed terms for any such critical debate.

Publication date: 
2009-05-04
Author name: 
Brian Lennon: