Environmental Kitsch: Commodity-Ecology in Jenny Erpenbeck’s “Tand”

J. Brandon Pelcher


The impact of commodities on the human experience of nature has largely been confined to their production or their disposal. In closely reading Jenny Erpenbeck’s short story “Tand,” this article seeks to theorize the role that commodity consumption plays in such experiences. Adapting and extending Timothy Morton’s concept of ecomimesis, this article reads the impact of consumption on bodily experience and commodification on experienced nature. Not merely the placement of commodities between subject and object, this dual effect overcomes both human–commodity and commodity–nature dichotomies. This ultimately transforms an experience of nature into the symbiotic processes of consumption of a socio-capitalist construction called “Nature” that poses as nature. With “Tand” as a particularly constructive example, this article works toward the establishment of an ecocriticism of commodity consumption (JBP)

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