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Bhishma Kumar and Sovan Chakraborty

Whiffing the Sense of Place: Breaking the Anthropocene Narrative through Myth in Mary Oliver’s Select Works

In this paper, we have strived to decode the sense of place in Mary Oliver’s select works through the optics of primitive mythology. Primitive mythology unveils the primordial human culture and human relationship with the non-human world. It silently advocates posthumanism, immersive installation, intercorporeality, and resists the dyadic approaches of human culture as well as the model of two worlds – the human and the non-human. In the context of Oliver, we find that she has given primitive myths an apt place in her poetry and non-fictional works and has talked of how these myths connect human culture to that of nature by striking out ego-centric attitudes of Renaissance Humanism. The poet has rejected such beliefs that promulgate the schools of anthropocentrism, ego-centrism, pseudo-spiritualism/centralism and the notion of Self/Other binary. She has rather favored the concepts of posthumanism and eco-centrism, which deny any privileges given to human beings. We have used the mythological concepts of Joseph Campbell, Steven B. Harris and David Leeming in this paper.


  • Bingol Universitesi, Fen Edebiyat Fakultesi, 12200 Bingol Turkey

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