Nature is not natural and can never be naturalized — Graham Harman

Friday, November 2, 2012

Underground Ecocriticism Liveblog 4

Rasmus Simonsen, "Preposterous Ecology."
The underground is preposterous. It presupposes the ground. And vice versa. To presuppose is to place out of reach. Every ground is already underground, out of reach of what is proper. Propose is to place forwards. Place as extension in space. To carve a niche in the future.
The preposterous: presents the posterior for consideration!

Danish saying: "when in the absence for finding a reason for what you are doing, you have no leg to stand on, so you must stand on your head."

Invoke the trope of hysteron proteron. Putting the cart before the horse. (The very term is a hysteron proteron!)

Future as that which has already been. Looking at a burger and seeing only shit. Coprophagia.

Cleanliness <> anal intimacy. "Don't shit where you eat."

Putting the cart before the horse: disrupting the potential for forward movement.

Lee Edelman: confound the determinacy of erotic positioning. Anal desires to foreground. But is this simply privileging in reverse? Ecomimesis?

Or does the preposterous confuse privilege? Thoreau: men have become the tools of their tools (Walden). Paul Ryan: democrats have turned the constitution on its head. Jonathan Goldberg: this rhetoric mobilized in face of perceived threats to the social order.

Morton, Ecology without Nature. Risk of boredom or hysteria-sounding. Hysteria puts us in the preposterous zone. Hysterio knows no origin--to be behind, to come later than, to be in debt.

Can also mean better, the ultimate, the outcome.

Hysteron as womb and afterbirth. A birth that always comes too late. Nature as truth of ecological thought. Is ecology then a symptom or a tic of nature? We look at causes retroactively (psychoanalysis). What came before after.

Womb reproduces the material of oikos.

Fetishizing the womb as site of reproduction and futurity has problems. Yet subverting this also problematic. Leo Bersani: De Sade, female genitals as defects in nature. The libertine utters his disgust because nature created it in the first place.

>> how we interact with our surroundings in a different way. Fecal matter as unground of ecology. Biopolitics would leave our shit down there, abject.

Medical science: fecal transplants. Excrement as a healing agent. First Gospel of the Infancy of Christ. His bathing water has a healing property. Filth accompanies or proceeds divine charge. We are born between shit and urine. Thoreau: shit and butterflies are harbingers of spring.

Hippocrates animal excrement. Hawk dung >> expulsion of fetus and as remedy for sterility.

Georgia woman cured of bacterial infeection << antibiotics by pumping fecal matter from mother into colon.

A man performed it on himself in Cape Redon. Risk of infection.

Some tribal groups adorn themselves with excrement as a sign of mourning.

Morton on grief. We shouldn't flush it too fast.

What might be at stake in advocating this preposterous view? Eating shit as eating death (Sade). Or feces as live, heat, innate core (patient of Medard Boss).

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