Original Research

Emplaced writing figuring as a manifestation of an ecocentric mindset in the narrative art of Petra Müller

Susan Meyer
Literator | Vol 35, No 2 | a1080 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/lit.v35i2.1080 | © 2014 Susan Meyer | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 19 August 2013 | Published: 02 June 2014

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Susan Meyer, School of Human and Social Studies, North-West University, Potchefstroom Campus, South Africa


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Abstract

The human-earth connection is a sustained theme in Petra Müller’s oeuvre. The article focuses on this connection as reflected in her narrative art, specifically in accounts that have an autobiographical proclivity. The aim of this article is to outline the nature-centred disposition of Müller’s narrative art in a more definite sense. This is achieved by paying attention to the manner in which the author (the ‘I’ in accounts where the narrator can be identified as the author herself) becomes part of the natural environment – whether on a sensory, an emotive, or an intellectual level – where she finds herself and the way she responds to it. At the core of the investigation are the ways in which this reactive engagement is manifested in Müller’s prose work by the implied author and the technique ofemplaced writing. Emplaced writing, a concept created by Linda Russo, was integrated by Susan Smith with Lawrence Buell’s concept of emplacement. This term refers to the technique allowing an active awareness of self and the place physically occupied by the author, as well as how that body fits into this place, to find expression. A broader perspective and greater appreciation of Müller’s work are drawn from the insight into how her close coexistence with the earth is reflected in her narrative art by means of the technique of emplaced writing which is explored in this article as it gives voice to a strong ecocentric disposition.

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