The climate of change

Graphic adaptation, The Rime of the Modern Mariner, and the ecological uncanny

Authored by: Pramod K. Nayar

Routledge Handbook of Ecocriticism and Environmental Communication

Print publication date:  February  2019
Online publication date:  February  2019

Print ISBN: 9781138053137
eBook ISBN: 9781315167343
Adobe ISBN:


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In a contemporary graphic adaptation of Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s famous narrative poem, The Rime of the Ancient Mariner (1798), Nick Hayes’s The Rime of the Modern Mariner (2011) presents an extraordinary environmentalist text. The chapter detects an “ecological uncanny” in Hayes. This ecological uncanny has three principal components: First, the antiquarian uncanny wherein there is a merger of present and past and where the haunting nature of pollution is far beyond any timeframe the humans comprehend. In the second component, the decadent sublime, waste is the key element. The decadent sublime is borderless in terms of both space and time because man-made detritus is non-biodegradable. Waste is the central component of this sublime. Finally, I argue that the irrational, the superstitious and the mythic remain a part of the ecological uncanny.

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