In 2003, Martin Rees referred to the present as “mankind’s final century.” A few years later, Slavoj Žižek wrote that humankind is heading towards “apocalyptic zero-point,” when the ecological crisis will most probably lead to our complete destruction. In his 2017 collection, Diary of the Last Man, Welsh poet Robert Minhinnick offers readers a meditation upon Earth at a liminal moment—on the brink of becoming completely unpopulated. Imagining a solitary human being, living in the midst of environmental collapse, Minhinnick yet entwines different voices—human and non-human—operating across vast spans of time. The speaker of the poems moves freely through different geographies and cultural contexts, but the voice that starts and ends the journey, seems to be the voice of the poet himself: he is the last man on earth, a survivor of ecological disaster. The paper discusses Minhinnick’s collection as a projection of the world we now inhabit into a future where it will exist only in the form of nostalgic memories. The analysis focuses on the role of objects in the construction of the world-within-the poem, where the fragments of human civilization are being claimed by forces of the environment—engulfing sand, progressive erosion—forming a retrospective vision of our “now” which will inevitably become our “past.”
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories No categories specified
(categorize this paper)
DOI 10.18778/2083-2931.09.20
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

Our Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 50,118
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

The Diary in Islamic Historiography: Some Notes.George Makdisi - 1986 - History and Theory 25 (2):173-185.
Contrapuntal Lines: Nostalgia in Kurt Vonnegut’s Player Piano.Camelia Gradinaru - 2017 - Meta: Research in Hermeneutics, Phenomenology, and Practical Philosophy 9 (2):607-629.
‘Those Chosen by the Planet’: Final Fantasy VII and Earth Jurisprudence.Robbie Sykes - 2017 - International Journal for the Semiotics of Law - Revue Internationale de Sémiotique Juridique 30 (3):455-476.
The Process of Place.Randall Teal - 2010 - Environmental Philosophy 7 (1):63-77.
Being (with) Objects.Anna E. Mudde - 2017 - In Marie-Eve Morin (ed.), Continental Realism and its Discontents. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.
Nothing Else Matters.Vincent Blok - 2019 - Research in Phenomenology 49 (1):65-87.


Added to PP index

Total views
3 ( #1,241,036 of 2,324,561 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
3 ( #309,669 of 2,324,561 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes