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Ecocriticism, Humanism, Eschatological Jouissance: J. G. Ballard and the Ends of the World



在本篇論文中,末世絕爽(eschatological jouissance)的概念即爲一種因世界末日的殘酷而帶來的快感。英國作家巴拉德(J. G. Ballard)在1960年代創作了一系列預言生態浩劫的小說,其中,末世絕爽的概念是一大特色,在其後來的創作裡,除了末世絕爽的概念外,巴拉德的小說也出現了對生態理想主義的嘲諷。巴拉德所書寫的因世界末日所產生的快感,可被視爲是對烏托邦文學的反動,以哲學詞彙來說,即是對人文主義的揚棄。在此,人文主義被定義爲是一種堅持以人爲本的世界觀。存在主義、後結構主義以及馬克思主義在二十世紀被視爲是能取代人文主義的思潮,而他們的共同要素即是反人文主義以及對末世絕爽的開放態度。在生態批評的分流中,有某些支派即是具備上述兩個得以置換人文主義的要素,而其中,末世絕爽的概念扮演了相當重要的腳色。人文主義無法被視爲是現代人面對生態浩劫的解藥,原因在於它終究還是以人能所得到最好的生活方式爲優先考量。儘管如此,此篇論文意在辨證有一人文主義對於人類同情心之狹隘實有所覺察,同時呼求人類將同情心延伸到同爲地球居民的非人生物上。末世絕爽做爲反烏托邦小說的特質與想像,雖令人爲之殘酷而顫栗,卻也因此而刺激人類將我們的同情延展至星球上的萬物。

Parallel abstracts

Eschatological jouissance is defined here as a grim pleasure in the failure of the world. It is a feature of J. G. Ballard's prescient ecological disaster fiction of the 1960s as well as of the sardonic treatment of ecological idealism in his later fiction. Expressions of pleasure in the end of the world can be seen as forming a counter genre to utopia and, in philosophical terms, as a refusal of humanism. Humanism is defined here as the insistence to see the world from a human point of view. Anti-humanism and a concurring openness to eschatological jouissance are elements of existentialism and of poststructuralism, together with Marxism the main alternatives to humanism proposed in the twentieth century. Ecocriticism, in some of its strands, is another such replacement of humanism in which eschatological jouissance plays a significant role. Humanism may not seem a promising attitude for dealing with the ecological disasters we face, concerned as it is in the first place with the comfort of human beings. Still, it is argued here that humanism includes an awareness of the parochialism of human sympathies and that an appeal to the need to extend its sympathies to non-human sharers of the planet might well be heeded. Eschatological jouissance, as a feature of dystopian fiction and imagination, will provide the needed shudder to nudge us into such an extension of our sympathies.

Parallel keywords

humanism utopia eschatology ecocriticism J. G. Ballard


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