“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, March 22, 2013

Subject to Change Liveblog 5

Sharon Kunde (UC Irvine)

“Slimed! Meshy Baptisms in Elizabeth Bishop’s ‘At the Fishhouses’ ” 

Bishop, At the Fishhouses
human bleeding into the environment
symbolic violence << overfishing
Baptism: symbolism that transforms matter
attempts to baptize the seal fail: netting
seal as symbol, emblem, mark
“diving into the narcissism of anthropomorphization” (Morton)
true escape is to extend narcissism: seal regards the speaker while the speaker sings hymns to it
free swinging indifferent element of temporal horizon
speaker imagines water contact as threatening
Derrida: possibility of sharing possibility of nonpower
language as a kind of net: not the same as knowing
not the original thing but a new thing or experience
something that escapes 
the flowing element in which we are immersed misses something
figure of the water as a figure of knowledge
speaker keeps bumping up at the edges of finitude
as an act of dark ecology

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