Consumerism, Waste, and Re-Use in Twentieth-Century Fiction

Rhys Tranter

Rachele Dini discusses how the work of J.G. Ballard, Don DeLillo, and Samuel Beckett engages with one of the most pressing environmental issues of our time

Rachele Dini, Consumerism, Waste, and Re-Use in Twentieth-Century Fiction (Palgrave, 2016) Rachele Dini, Consumerism, Waste, and Re-Use in Twentieth-Century Fiction (Palgrave, 2016)

What motivated you to write Consumerism, Waste, and Re-Use in Twentieth-Century Fiction?

Well, I’ve been attracted to remnants of different kinds since I was very little, and was obsessed with cutting up magazines as a teenager—but intellectually, the turning point for me was during my MA at King’s College London. I noticed almost immediately that the texts on the modules I was taking were unusually concerned with fragments and fragmentation. Dickens, Zola, Eliot, Elizabeth Bowen, Fernando Pessoa, Virginia Woolf, Ballard, Calvino, and of course Walter Benjamin and Adorno: physical and metaphorical waste proliferates in all of these authors’ work. In hindsight, this was to be expected since the course focused on the seismic effects…

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