Journal of Romance Studies

Scatter and resist Ferrier writing Fukushima

Journal of Romance Studies (2022), 22, (1), 49–71.

Abstract

This article explores the many ways in which Michaël Ferrier, novelist, academic, and essayist, writes about the triple disaster, known in the west as ‘Fukushima’, that struck Japan on 11 March 2011. He travelled up to the stricken area from Tokyo and wrote a witness account of his experiences, Fukushima: récit d’un désastre [‘Fukushima, Account of a Disaster’] (2012). During the ten years since Ferrier has continued to write prolifically about the disaster and its aftermath. This article discusses the hybrid genres used in Fukushima: récit d’un désastre to capture the appalling realities Ferrier witnessed and analyses how the generic hybridity arises from what I call an aesthetics of scatteredness, a model that also accurately describes the ensemble of his writings on Fukushima. It will also show how Ferrier’s generic choices indicate his ecological awareness and his desire to decentre the human in the context of disaster writing.

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Kawakami, Akane