“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

Friday, April 29, 2011


HT Joshua Corey. I just read some very interesting posts at Montevidayo on “necropastoral,” which does for pastoral what I think this essay of mine (that just came out) does. By putting pastoral in a larger configuration space (shall we say charnel ground?) some interesting things happen. Love of Nature is to some extent openness to death—an openness that most environmentalism tries to foreclose.

A brief quotation from the site:

The Pastoral, like the occult, has always been a fraud, a counterfeit, an invention, an anachronism. However, as with the occult, and as with Art itself, the fraudulence of the pastoral is in direct proportion to its uncanny powers. A double of the urban, but dressed in artful, nearly ceremental rags and pelts, the Pastoral is outside the temporal and geographical sureties of the court, the urbs, the imperium itself, but also, implicitly, adjacent to all of these, entailing an ambiguous degree of access, of cross-contamination.

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