“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

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Subject to Change Liveblog 8

Kaushik Viswanath (Notre Dame)

“Animating the Inanimate: An Ecological Reading of Arun Kolatkar’s Poetry”

On Kolatkar’s ecological vision
postcolonial readings of the poems can be essentialist and reductive
1. emphasis on ecocentric perspective (world is interdependent)
2. humility
3. skepticism concerning hyper-rationality

1. a ruined temple has been occupied by a small family of dogs
2. forays into the animals’ interiority
3. religious tone, not wanting to be conned: not belief but perception

the speaker sees all kinds of broken things in the temple
“the dark side of the object” (Morton)

“that’s no doorstep, that’s a pillar on its side--yes that’s what it is”

Pie Dog: a stray that sits on the streets; not a projection of the speaker
“I look a bit like a seventeenth century map of Bombay”
engagement with neglected environments

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