The Fundamental Interconnectedness of All Things

Ecology in Douglas Adams’ Dirk Gently Series

Abstract:

The Dirk Gently series written by Douglas Adams mixes comedy, detective fiction and science fiction to create narratives capable of conveying ecological meaning in a variety of ways. Using ecocritical theory this thesis unpacks the ecological themes and implications of the Dirk Gently series; ‘Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency’ (1987), ‘The Long Dark Teatime of the Soul’, (1988) and the unfinished and posthumously published ‘The Salmon of Doubt’ (2002). This thesis demonstrates how science fiction elements such as time travel and aliens can facilitate the understanding of ecological issues. Through socio-political approaches to ecocritical theory the implications of Adams’ indictment of neo-colonialism and modernity are to be a threat to the biosphere and humans as a part of it. The blind wastefulness of the human era or Anthropocene is evident in the Dirk Gently series as Dirk’s world becomes increasingly cluttered by rubbish and debris, some of it sentient. As an advocate for endangered species the environmentally aware Adams, through the adventures of ‘holistic’ detective Dirk Gently, offers a glimpse into the vast interconnected web of the biosphere and the immeasurable impact of humans on the ecological welfare of the planet.

Thesis submitted as partial fulfilment for the requirements of completion of a Master of Arts in Writing and Literature in 2019 receiving first class honours.

Citation information:

Pinder, MK 2019, The Fundamental Interconnectedness Of All Things; Ecology In Douglas Adams’ Dirk Gently Series, Masters Thesis, Deakin University, Australia.

Image credit: The galaxy Messier 101 By ESA/Hubble, CC BY 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=36216331

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