“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


Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Saturday, May 25, 2024

Read This Lovely Review of Hell

 

Timothy Morton: Hell #318 by Dr Andreas Matthias

An unusual book review

Read on Substack

Wednesday, May 22, 2024

New Essay

 I'm very proud of it and I'd love it if you took a look. I'm trying to get out there a little more. 


Saturday, May 18, 2024

We Did This. So We're Going to Repair It.

 Since Slavoj just said it I don't feel so bad about it, having been lambasted for it in Japan. 

White politics and thought created the nation state. Then it created one inside a destroyed caliphate. I've seen the maps, drawn by "Lawerence of Arabia" (they're in the Old Library and my alma mater, Magdalen College Oxford):

"As I already suggested in a recent text of mine, ideally the US (with some allies) should simply invade Gaza from the sea, establish its own power zone there where millions of civilian refugees will be safe, providing for their elementary welfare and in this way constrain Israeli power - it is a safe bet that Israel would not risk an open conflict with the US. In crazy times, crazy acts are needed."

Friday, May 17, 2024

On the Unforgettable Sound of the Tornadoes in Houston Last Night

 Nothing prepares you for how a tornado comes in and out of hearing range as its sound is blocked by trees, buildings, slopes...Yeah it's like a "freight train" but it's a gated freight train, as if a gigantic monster had feet made of freight train that made that sound when they hit the ground. As it got closer the house started to shake and you knew that thing was going to be on top of you. Visceral horror, even though it didn't touch down on me and Simon (15): it's the suction and That Sound. I was dizzy for a couple of hours from the massive pressure changes, and I've felt that horror before as I've experienced three tornadoes. But I've never heard them, not like that, and never did I experience the sound of structural torsion and damage to attics and trees and roofs above me.


It is not a reverberant kaboom. Thunder's prolonged resonance is comforting compared with these gated monstrous footsteps. It's the silence in between the roars that is also scary.

One could hear it coming about five minutes before it hit--at first, just a creamy bass white noise, coming in and out. I had heard it all around Houston during hurricane Harvey (when there were about five or six in each direction). This was approaching from the west.

We were up on the top floor where Simon (15) had just started listening to the sound, much clearer up there, when our phones sounded the warning, meaning they had been seen. So we got down into to the pantry, a central room without windows under a supporting beam.

Simon randomly turned to this Psalm:

Psalm 57

For the choir director: A psalm of David, regarding the time he fled from Saul and went into the cave. To be sung to the tune “Do Not Destroy!” [read on it gets even better]

1 Have mercy on me, O God, have mercy!
I look to you for protection.
I will hide beneath the shadow of your wings
until the danger passes by.
2 I cry out to God Most High,
to God who will fulfill his purpose for me.
3 He will send help from heaven to rescue me,
disgracing those who hound me. Interlude
My God will send forth his unfailing love and faithfulness.
4 I am surrounded by fierce lions
who greedily devour human prey—
whose teeth pierce like spears and arrows,
and whose tongues cut like swords.
5 Be exalted, O God, above the highest heavens!
May your glory shine over all the earth.
6 My enemies have set a trap for me.
I am weary from distress.
They have dug a deep pit in my path,
but they themselves have fallen into it. Interlude
7 My heart is confident in you, O God;
my heart is confident.
No wonder I can sing your praises!
8 Wake up, my heart!
Wake up, O lyre and harp!
I will wake the dawn with my song.
9 I will thank you, Lord, among all the people.
I will sing your praises among the nations.
10 For your unfailing love is as high as the heavens.
Your faithfulness reaches to the clouds.
11 Be exalted, O God, above the highest heavens.
May your glory shine over all the earth.

I was reading it (he asked me) right as it hit. It didn't touch the house but like I say, you could hear it. Visceral horror, no matter what I was thinking.

Ten minutes before it arrived, the street had become so dark that one couldn't see further than the porch light.

Thinking about it, last night was an F2 (I had assumed F0 or F1 on the “Fujita scale”—I got really obsessed and phobic when I first arrived in the USA and found out all about them). It’s a logarithmic curve where F5 is the highest: it’s measured by destruction so you can’t get higher than 5, because it’s 1-3 miles wide and everything becomes powder that isn’t underground… But skyscraper windows blown out and pylons down is F2 not F1…F3 is trains being thrown into supermarket metal doors…

Thursday, May 16, 2024

Isn't This Just Lovely

 “Dear Professor Morton--

“I am reaching out to see if you would be willing to donate a signed copy of Dark Ecology: For a Logic of Future Coexistence, which was read by the Indiana Forest Alliance Book Club in January, 2024, for our upcoming silent auction.

“If you would be interested in donating any of your other titles, we would be most appreciative.”

Isn't that just splendid. I'll send them everything. 



Sunday, May 12, 2024

HELL LAUNCH NYC!

 Come to Book Culture on W 112 St. on May 29 and listen to Paul Miller aka DJ Spooky and Timothy Morton discussing Morton's new book, Hell. Tim will also be signing Hell and Being Ecological. Register here! 


Thursday, May 9, 2024

INTERVIEW with Andrew Keen on Hell!

 It was an honor and a pleasure and Andrew had a way of asking questions that were both big and precise--a rare skill. 

Episode 2058: Timothy Morton searches for a Christian Ecology that will get us out of our Planetary Hell by Andrew Keen

An angelic demon's theological guide to living in catastrophic times

Read on Substack

Wednesday, May 8, 2024

More on The National Book Award Panel I'm On

 Here's a nice piece in my school's paper about it, by Brandi Smith. 

In St. Louis

I LOVED talking at Washington University in St. Louis. The event was at the art museum, depicted below, inside and out. 

The book is incredible. It's SO beautiful. I held it for the first time. Others have received uncorrected proofs but this was the first time anyone held a real copy of the thing. It's SO heavy. Like, dense. The paper is beautiful, glossy full color paper all the way through. Some pages are bright orange melting into yellow. Titles are flaming red-orange. Blake and Goya and everyone is in full color facing the page I'm exploring them on. It's weighty, like a book of art...well it is a book of art. 

I renewed my deep love of Matisse, which I've had since age 7, by going to see the Matisse exhibition at the St. Louis Art Museum. If you're anyway near go. It's just wonderful. I had all kinds of thoughts about his being influenced by African art, different from the "primitivism" argument. And different from theft. 

I'm writing a theology that is indebted to my abiding love of Matisse. I'll try to bottle what I thought along with Lara Schaberg, the artist, in later posts. 

I visited a military bunker with Anya, a visiting artist, and Chris--I've been to a lot of military sites (including, I think, Stonehenge) over the years, as part of my dark-ecological artistic inspiration. I got really bad asthma from the mould! It was without a doubt the mysterium tremendum. The subsequent Matisse was the mysterium fascinans. 

I talked for about 45 minutes and there was a long Q&A. It was recorded--I will link to it just as soon as I can. 

Thank you Meredith and Liz and everyone involved in making this project work. It was so good in every way.  









 

Friday, May 3, 2024

HELL LAUNCH ST. LOUIS: This Monday!!!!


 


Please come if you can! You can register here. I'll be signing Hell and Being Ecological will also be there! 

May 6, 5:30pm

Organized in conjunction with the exhibition Santiago Sierra: 52 Canvases Exposed to Mexico City’s Air, Timothy Morton, Rita Shea Guffey Chair in English at Rice University and director of the Cool America Foundation, will give a talk to celebrate the publication of their  new book Hell: In Search of a Christian Ecology (Columbia University Press, 2024), which explores the relationship between religion and ecology in response to the climate crisis. Morton is the author of several books that bring together politics, art, and ecological studies to better understand how we coexist with one another and with non-humans. 


A book signing will follow the talk. Purchase Hell: In Search of a Christian Ecology in the Museum Shop. 


Free and open to the public. Registration is requested. 


This event is co-sponsored by WashU’s Program in Public Scholarship and is part of the Sam Fox School's Public Lecture Series.

About the Speaker

Timothy Morton is Rita Shea Guffey Chair in English at Rice University and director of the Cool America Foundation. They are the author of more than twenty books, including Hyperobjects, Dark Ecology, and Ecology Without Nature. Morton has collaborated with Laurie Anderson, Björk, Jeff Bridges, Olafur Eliasson, Susan Kucera, Adam McKay, and Jennifer Walshe.

Thursday, May 2, 2024

Hell Is Now Even Outselling the Audiobooks

 It's been the highest selling book (even on pre-order) on Amazon for a week but now it's the highest selling anything. ?!!