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ECOCRITICAL HUES IN CHRISTY LEFTERI'S "SONGBIRDS": THE DISSOLUTION OF THE HUMAN/NONHUMAN DISTINCTION

Vol.8, Issue 2, 2022, pp. 301-313 Full text

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.33919/esnbu.22.2.9
Web of Science: [WOS=]

Authors:
Costanza Mondo https://orcid.org/0000-0002-2236-4580

Affiliation:
University of Turin, Italy

Abstract
The human/nonhuman distinction is a significant theme in ecocriticism, which tries to undermine this dichotomy and make us rethink the human relationship with nature and other creatures. This paper argues that Christy Lefteri's latest novel Songbirds (2021) dispels this hierarchical dualism through the portrayal of a golden mouflon ovis, a wild sheep native to the Caspian region and an extremely meaningful animal in the story: it comes to represent nature and eventually leads to the assimilation of the human and nonhuman spheres. By comparing the description of the mouflon ovis with the hedgehog in "The Mower" (1979) by Philip Larkin, I will attempt to bring to the foreground the similarities between both animal representations and the strong ecocritical hues in Lefteri's description. Furthermore, the paper aims to show how the author depicts an interspecies and inter-elemental community - in which not only the animate dimension, but also the inanimate sphere is given value and importance - through the representation of the mouflon ovis, the motif of gold and specific passages in the novel.

Keywords: Christy Lefteri, human/nonhuman, Philip Larkin, ecocriticism, community

Article history:
Submitted: 10 October 2022;
Reviewed: 12 November 2022;
Accepted: 16 November 2022;
Published: 20 December 2022

Citation (APA):
Mondo, C. (2022). Ecocritical Hues in Christy Lefteri's "Songbirds": The Dissolution of the Human/Nonhuman Distinction. English Studies at NBU, 8(2), 301-313. https://doi.org/10.33919/esnbu.22.28

Copyright © 2022 Costanza Mondo

This open access article is published and distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC 4.0), which permits non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. If you want to use the work commercially, you must first get the authors' permission.

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Review

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Handling Editor: Boris Naimushin
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