School starts soon (quarter system). I returned from the retreats. And I’m finishing an essay called “Ecologocentrism: Unworking Animals,” for SubStance.
All feeble excuses for my not yet posting my final thoughts on The Rime of the Ancient Mariner.
They’re about the sheer “thereness” of existence, its density—what “world” subsumes and half erases. And its relation to intimacy.
I’ve been getting some excellent feedback on my first draft of The Ecological Thought.
The SubStance essay is a study of Solaris, the incredible science fiction story of a psychologist’s encounter with a radically other mind.
It claims that just as Derrida argues that logocentrism underlies Western philosophy’s attempt to ground meaning in an essential form, I hold that ecologocentrism underpins most environmentalist philosophy, preventing access to the full scope of interconnectedness.
Thinking, even environmentalist thinking, has set up “Nature” as a reified thing in the distance, “over there,” under the sidewalk, on the other side where the grass is always greener, preferably in the mountains, in the wild. This “Nature” accords with Walter Benjamin’s proposition about the aura: it is a function of distance. Benjamin uses an image from “Nature”—or from the picturesque? But that is my and his point—to describe the aura: “We define the aura . . . as the unique phenomenon of a distance, however close [the object] may be. If, while resting on a summer afternoon, you follow with your eyes a mountain range on the horizon or a branch which casts its shadow over you, you experience the aura of those mountains, of that branch.”