“Was not their mistake once more bred of the life of slavery that they had been living?—a life which was always looking upon everything, except mankind, animate and inanimate—‘nature,’ as people used to call it—as one thing, and mankind as another, it was natural to people thinking in this way, that they should try to make ‘nature’ their slave, since they thought ‘nature’ was something outside them” — William Morris

Monday, March 4, 2013

Nature Writing as Postmodernism

A commenter asks, "How would the injunction to silence be imposed?" concerning my interpretation of the "Everyone knows that nature writing is self-reflexive," namely "Stop talking about it, shhh!"

Well, hmm...it is its own imposition I guess.

Or you could stalk me for three years, online, culminating in a threat published in ISLE to pour rancid fat on my head, while distributing your email address. I have a copy of the police report I filed on that if you'd like to see it. They took it quite seriously.

Still not convinced?

Again, this beautifully proves my point. Nature writing can't stand to be seen as a discourse that is narrated, like every other one, because the precise game is to hide that fact. So you get questioned for even slightly mentioning it.

And there is quite the blind spot about language in that question about imposition. An injunction just is an illocutionary statement that performs what it says, viz "Shut up!"

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Stalked & threatened? ! Awful awful awful. With animal fat? That's viciously, scarily apropos to do to a vegan. God.
I've been on the receiving end of hostility from the agriculture faculty here, even had pork producers print off my blog and send it up the ranks of my university. Crazy shit for us literature scholars....
But threatened with burning by animal fat? No.