Matter Really Matters: A Poetic Material Islamecocritical Reading of Inanimateness Animism

DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.13185/KK2021.003706

Abstract

Inanimateness is a common characteristic of physical matter. Non-living nature is regarded as a lifeless object. Its value in scientific fields stems from being a container of living ecosystems. Poets, however, have a different vision. They perceive a type of mysterious life in what is scientifically labeled inanimate. It is a different type of life, an anonymous one that cannot be empirically proven but is strongly sensed by persistent observers. Material Islamecocriticism, which is a Material Ecocriticism from an Islamic perspective, deciphers this puzzling view of the inert world: the in-between death-life position. This position makes some see it as an inanimate object, while others conceive it as pulsing with life and contacting their psyches. The target of this paper is to bridge the conceptual divide between animate and inanimate beings so as to prove nature animism. Canadian poetry is chosen as the field of investigation and Material Islamecocritical theory is used for furnishing the basis of argumentation. Material Islamecocriticism complements Western ecocriticism since it combines religion and science in its approach. As such, it offers refreshing ways of understanding the interdependence between humans and nature as presented in literature.

Keywords

Nature literature, Canadian ecopoetry, materiality, Material Islamecocriticism, Islamic thought, ecocritical theory

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Kritika Kultura
Department of English
School of Humanities
Ateneo de Manila University

The Philippine Commission on Higher Education (CHED) declares Kritika Kultura as a CHED-recognized journal under the Journal Challenge Category of its Journal Incentive Program.

International Board of Editors

Jan Baetens
Professor
Faculty of Arts
Katholieke Universiteit te Leuven (Belgium)

Joel David
Professor of Cultural Studies
Inha University (South Korea)

Michael Denning
Professor of American Studies and English
Department of English
Yale University (US)

Faruk
Faculty of Cultural Sciences
Universitas Gadjah Mada (Indonesia)

Regenia Gagnier
Professor of English
University of Exeter (UK)

Leela Gandhi
John Hawkes Professor of the Humanities and English
Brown University (US)

Inderpal Grewal
Professor of Women's Gender and Sexuality Studies
Professor of South Asian Studies, Ethnicity, Race and Migration Studies
Yale University (US)

Peter Horn
Professor Emeritus and Honorary Lifetime Fellow
University of Cape Town (South Africa)
Honorary Professor and Research Associate in German Studies
University of the Witwatersrand (South Africa)

Anette Horn
Professor of German Studies
University of the Witwatersrand (South Africa)

David Lloyd
Distinguished Professor of English
University of California, Riverside (US)

Bienvenido Lumbera
National Artist for Literature
Professor Emeritus
University of the Philippines

Rajeev S. Patke
Director of the Division of Humanities
Professor of Humanities
Yale NUS College (Singapore)

Vicente L. Rafael
Giovanni and Amne Costigan Endowed Professor of History
University of Washington (US)

Vaidehi Ramanathan
Department of Linguistics
University of California, Davis (US)

Temario Rivera
Professorial Lecturer
Department of Political Science
University of the Philippines

E. San Juan, Jr.
Philippines Studies Center (US)

Neferti X.M. Tadiar
Professor of Women’s, Gender, & Sexuality Studies
Barnard College (US)
Director of the Center for the Study of Ethnicity and Race
Columbia University (US)

Antony Tatlow
Honorary Professor of Drama
Trinity College Dublin (Ireland)