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.


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

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

Joel David
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Yale University (US)

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