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Archival Futures: Michel Houellebecq's Anthropocene

Archival Futures: Michel Houellebecq's Anthropocene James Dutton Archival Futures Michel Houellebecq’s Anthropocene One of the more fashionable recent ways to interpret t che s alle o- d An thropocene is to note how, in the words of Naomi Klein, “this changes everything”. Indeed, the Anthropocene hypothesis points out the irreversible change “human” behav- iour has had on the Earth System. The remarkable interdisciplinary influence of the hypothesis demonstrates the possibilities such change opens up for critical thought—and signifies the academy’s sense of responsibility in navigating these changes toward the best possible future. But the very premise of an irre versible change upsets this logic; such a fixation with change ignores a more present pre- dicament. The mark left by human cultures on the earth remains—and indeed, the great, oen r ft epressed trauma of the Anthropocene is that this scar wi ch lang l not e. What is most interesting to note is that the peculiar temporalities opened up by the Anthropocene hypothesis are not only not unprecedented but, in many re- spects, are those that form the basis of the archival cultures that have set the meta- physical tone for scientific enquiry arguably since the Reformation. At any rate, this archival obsession has http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png The Comparatist University of North Carolina Press

Archival Futures: Michel Houellebecq's Anthropocene

The Comparatist , Volume 45 – Nov 11, 2021

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Publisher
University of North Carolina Press
Copyright
Copyright © Copyright © Society for Comparative Literature and the Arts
ISSN
1559-0887

Abstract

James Dutton Archival Futures Michel Houellebecq’s Anthropocene One of the more fashionable recent ways to interpret t che s alle o- d An thropocene is to note how, in the words of Naomi Klein, “this changes everything”. Indeed, the Anthropocene hypothesis points out the irreversible change “human” behav- iour has had on the Earth System. The remarkable interdisciplinary influence of the hypothesis demonstrates the possibilities such change opens up for critical thought—and signifies the academy’s sense of responsibility in navigating these changes toward the best possible future. But the very premise of an irre versible change upsets this logic; such a fixation with change ignores a more present pre- dicament. The mark left by human cultures on the earth remains—and indeed, the great, oen r ft epressed trauma of the Anthropocene is that this scar wi ch lang l not e. What is most interesting to note is that the peculiar temporalities opened up by the Anthropocene hypothesis are not only not unprecedented but, in many re- spects, are those that form the basis of the archival cultures that have set the meta- physical tone for scientific enquiry arguably since the Reformation. At any rate, this archival obsession has

Journal

The ComparatistUniversity of North Carolina Press

Published: Nov 11, 2021

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