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Silent Nature as a “Claw in the Gut”: Shock Therapy Epiphanies in Annie Proulx’s Wyoming Stories

Abstract : This article focuses on the representation of an awesome and unforgiving nature which welds together the three collections of Annie Proulx's Wyoming stories. My claim is that with potent metaphors of humans' silencing of nature and of the way the latter strikes back, Proulx's short fiction calls for urgent awareness of the interconnectedness between humankind and its natural environment. If Proulx's fatalistic short story endings rarely suggest an epiphany on the part of the characters, her overarching uses of brutal poetic justice and sarcastic narrative voices bring about reader epiphanies, working as shock therapy, and thus prompting a biocentric view of the world. This article argues that Proulx's Wyoming stories offer one of the best examples of "narrative ecology," to take up the term coined by Alex Hunt, or what Adrian Rainbow calls "ecoliterary texts," in that they engage in a real relationship with nature, and bring about readers' awareness of the need for new paradigms and mythologies working against the noxious myth of individualism, and pointing to nature as an intricate sacred hoop.
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Bénédicte Meillon. Silent Nature as a “Claw in the Gut”: Shock Therapy Epiphanies in Annie Proulx’s Wyoming Stories. Revista Canaria de Estudios Ingleses, 2018, 77 (77), pp.105-125. ⟨10.25145/j.recaesin.2018.77.08⟩. ⟨hal-02406840⟩

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