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Opium cities, carbon routes: world - ecological prehistory in Amitav Ghosh’s Hong Kong

Vandertop, Caitlin (2019) Opium cities, carbon routes: world - ecological prehistory in Amitav Ghosh’s Hong Kong. Journal of Postcolonial Writing, NA . pp. 1-15. ISSN 1744-9855

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This article situates Amitav Ghosh’s thesis of anthropocenic modernity as a “great derangement” within the context of the British colonial city and its environmental vulnerabilities. Showing how Ghosh’s Ibis Trilogy (Sea of Poppies [2008], River of Smoke [2011] and Flood of Fire [2015]) highlights the appropriation of natural resources by financial markets, the article reads Ghosh’s narratives of magically altered landscapes – and the strange coincidences and chance encounters that they produce – as part of a “world-ecological” literary engagement with the transformations of the British Empire’s opium regime and its carbon-intensive infrastructures. If the colonial founding of Hong Kong speaks to the scale of these transformations, the floods, rising tides and typhoons that threaten the city can be read as narrative premonitions of capital’s ecological limits, revealing the prehistories of the climate crisis from the coastal cities in which it originated.

Item Type: Journal Article
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PR English literature
Divisions: Faculty of Arts, Law and Education (FALE) > School of Language, Arts and Media
Depositing User: Caitlin Vandertop
Date Deposited: 25 Feb 2019 03:25
Last Modified: 25 Feb 2019 03:25

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