Vidya Venkat in conversation with Amitav Ghosh, author of a powerful new book of essays on the literary, historical and geo-political raminifactions of climate change, titled THE GREAT DERANGEMENT: Climate Change and the Unthinkable," published now in India by PenguinIndia since July 12 and coming soon in a USA edition from the University of Chicago Press in mid-September.
In a freewheeling conversation in New Delhi acknowledged that within Western academia, and particularly at the University of Chicago where he delivered the lectures, there is a strong awareness and interest in climate change and the Anthropocene, the current era in which human activity has dominated the planet. How man-made global warming (AGW) affects our history, thought and consciousness are major questions they are grappling with. But this cannot make up for the conspicuous absence of discussions on climate change in works of literature and art, he pointed out.......
............. As the conversation ends, Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s ''One Hundred Years of Solitude'' comes to this reporter's mind. It is a reminder of what Aureliano (II) feels when he finally translates the scrolls of Melquíades, the prophetic gypsy.
The gypsy had foreseen the whole history of the man’s family, including that one day he would have a baby with a pig’s tail, something his great-grandmother had once feared.
As Aureliano (II) finishes reading the scrolls, the house, and the rest of the town he lives in are wiped away by a hurricane; he deciphers the prophecy concerning his future when it is too late to do anything about it.