Seeing Through the End Time: From Lord Byron’s “Darkness” to The Dark Mountain Project

Jessica MacQueen


This essay contends with the dark side of environmental literature by examining Lord Byron’s apocalyptic poem “Darkness” (1816) ecocritically, drawing on Timothy Morton’s concepts of dark ecology and ecological thought to ask how darkness functions in Byron’s literary depiction of the end of days. Arguing that the poem moves beyond an elegy for nature to instead mourn the loss of community in crisis time, this essay points towards the unimaginable feminized future that the poem reaches blindly towards and concludes with a reference to contemporary ex-environmentalists The Dark Mountain Project who consider darkness the primary ecoaesthetic of their “uncivilized writing.”


darkness; ecocriticism; dark ecology; ecological thought; apocalypse; prophecy

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