The Uncanny and the Secular in Amitav Ghosh’s The Great Derangement and The Hungry Tide

by Alessandro Vescovi

In The Great Derangement, Climate Change and the Unthinkable Amitav Ghosh addresses a series of key questions about the apparent incapacity of the public opinion to envisage the imminent danger of climate change. Ghosh’s answer to the question can hardly be summarized, as it traces a complex parallel genealogy of climate change, imperialism, and capitalism – all of them being rooted in European Enlightenment, like the novel itself. My paper will briefly trace these hints and link them to Ghosh’s most famous eco-novel, The Hungry Tide (2004), where they are equally inapparent, dissolved as they are in aesthetic digressions. Such digressions, it becomes evident after The Great Derangement, should be read as an alternative way of interpreting nature, which calls for alternative ways of thinking and novel writing.