AN ECO-CRITICAL APPROACH TO AM?N MAALOUF?S NOVEL ?EMPEDOKLES??N DOSTLARI?

Abstract

Author(s): Zehra ERGEÇ

With the rapid spread of industrialization, ‘natüre’ and the ‘environment’ have become sources of consumption and capital for human beings. This leads to an ever-mounting pile of ecological problems. Interdisciplinary studies are carried out to produce solutions to ecological problems and to sustain human existence in harmony with nature. ‘Ecocriticism’ is among these studies that examines the relationship between human, nature and environment. The reflections of ‘eco-criticism’ which infiltrates into various fields such as history, cinema, psychology, art history, philosophy, and political science, are also observed in literary works. Literary works designed with an eco-critical approach aim to adopt an eco-centric mindset rather than a human-centric one, and to ensure the respect for the rights of all living creatures that make up the ecosystem. Amin Maalouf’s (1949) semi-dystopian work Empedokles’in Dostlar? (2021) is based on the events that took place in the world on the brink of nuclear disaster. Technological developments that will help make life easier have brought the planet to the danger of extinction with the insatiable attitude of human beings. Mysterious people who call themselves Empedokles’ friends who are sensitive to nature and have a developed civilization, put an end to this chaos. In the study, the novel Empedokles’in Dostlar? was evaluated in the axis of ecocriticism; issues such as how the author describes the relationship between nature and men and the way nature is handled have been revealed. It is concluded that the novel is an ecologically conscious work that invites the reader to look at the other with tolerance.

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