French contemporary literary criticism has left the environmental theme largely unexplored. Covering some of the major French authors from 1945 to the present, I propose to study this theme from an ecopoetic perspective. “L’écopoétique”/ecopoetics, a discipline which focuses on how writers represent the natural world and the environment, will provide the framework for studying French literature in its relation to the environment.
Based on a carefully chosen corpus, including work by Gracq, Gary, Gascar, Trassard, Le Clézio and a choice of contemporary writers, I will study these authors’ approach of environmental issues and how the formal characteristics of their romans (novels), nouvelles (novellas) and récits function and contribute in creating an environmental composition.
As such, my study will contribute to our knowledge of the writers in my corpus, and by means of its ethical and aesthetic research, establish the clear presence of ecological awareness in French fiction since 1945 and the impact it has had on literary style.