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Download Ecology without Nature: Rethinking Environmental Aesthetics eBook

by Timothy Morton

Download Ecology without Nature: Rethinking Environmental Aesthetics eBook
ISBN:
0674024346
Author:
Timothy Morton
Category:
History & Criticism
Language:
English
Publisher:
Harvard University Press (March 31, 2007)
Pages:
262 pages
EPUB book:
1525 kb
FB2 book:
1975 kb
DJVU:
1241 kb
Other formats
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Rating:
4.3
Votes:
849


To read Timothy Morton's "Ecology Without Nature" is to be slapped in the face, not with the content of his argument but . This book is key reading for anyone interested in matters of environment, ecology, aesthetics, nature writing, and even travel writing.

To read Timothy Morton's "Ecology Without Nature" is to be slapped in the face, not with the content of his argument but with the style of his writing. Although for some reason he begins denying that his is a postmodern book written in postmodern prose, the opposite is evident to anyone who flips through and tries to work through the dense undergrowth of his prose. It provides both an eclectic history of a trans-disciplinary motif, and it also makes convincing arguments for why we might do well to be wary of this motif (. Nature with a big N).

Rethinking Environmental Aesthetics. quit your books" and experience nature as it is. It turns out it is not such an ecological, let alone. realm that he calls "ambience.

Timothy Morton argues that ecological awareness in the present Anthropocene era takes the form of a strange loop or Möbius strip, twisted to have only one side. Ecological awareness takes this shape because ecological phenomena have a loop form that is also fundamental to the structure of how things are.

In Ecology without Nature, Timothy Morton argues that the. Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Start by marking Ecology Without Nature: Rethinking Environmental Aesthetics as Want to Read: Want to Read savin. ant to Read.

SUMMARY: In Ecology without Nature, Timothy Morton argues that the chief stumbling block to environmental thinking is the image of nature itself. Ecological writers propose a new worldview, but their very zeal to preserve the natural world leads them away from the nature they revere. The problem is a symptom of the ecological catastrophe in which we are living.

Ecology without Nature. Rethinking Environmental Aesthetics. Ecology without Nature investigates our ecological assumptions in a way that is provocative and deeply engaging. Ranging widely in eighteenth-century through contemporary philosophy, culture, and history, he explores the value of art in imagining environmental projects for the future.

Uploaded by. turudrummer. Description: Timothy Morton Ecology Without Nature Rethinking Environmental Aesthetics. Ecology without Nature tries not to foster a particular form of aes thetic enjoyment; at least not until the end, when it takes a stab at seeing whether art forms can bear the weight of being critical in the sense that the rest of the book outlines. No one kind of art is exactly.

In Ecology without Nature, Timothy Morton argues that the chief stumbling block to environmental thinking is the image of nature that most writers on the topic promote: they propose a new worldview, but their very zeal to preserve the natural world leads them away from the "nature" they revere. The problem is a symptom of a far deeper situation-of accepting the idea of "ecology without nature. That is, to have a properly ecological view, we must relinquish, once and for all, the idea of nature.

She was the rst to hear and discuss the ideas set down here.

In Ecology without Nature, Timothy Morton argues that the chief stumbling block to environmental thinking is the image of nature itself. Ecological writers propose a new worldview, but their very zeal to preserve the natural world leads them away from the "nature" they revere. The problem is a symptom of the ecological catastrophe in which we are living. Morton sets out a seeming paradox: to have a properly ecological view, we must relinquish the idea of nature once and for all.

Ecology without Nature investigates our ecological assumptions in a way that is provocative and deeply engaging. Ranging widely in eighteenth-century through contemporary philosophy, culture, and history, he explores the value of art in imagining environmental projects for the future. Morton develops a fresh vocabulary for reading "environmentality" in artistic form as well as content, and traces the contexts of ecological constructs through the history of capitalism. From John Clare to John Cage, from Kierkegaard to Kristeva, from The Lord of the Rings to electronic life forms, Ecology without Nature widens our view of ecological criticism, and deepens our understanding of ecology itself. Instead of trying to use an idea of nature to heal what society has damaged, Morton sets out a radical new form of ecological criticism: "dark ecology."

  • Samulkree
Spoiler alert: as with so much Object Oriented Ontology-centric (OOO) output over the past decade or so, we're all just stardust. I dunno--that's not quite fair. I think the new materialists are on to something, it just seems to me to be much older than it is "new" and questions of ethics and, say, "uneven development" (from [urban] political ecology) or inequity in environmental risk and toxic burden (well examined in enviro justice lit) are not mere philosophical debates where I live: the still-oozing birthplace of the petrochemical industry and the Superfund site. So I'm inclined to follow folks like Haraway, Alaimo, Bateson, Braun, Parikka, and (albeit a mishmash of methods by) others who name names and point fingers. I mean, we can basically name the top 100 companies that have left us with the toxic morass that passes for "landscape" in the 21st century--and that's long before we even get to "debating" climate change. Looking for a way to talk about "nature" as separate from the cultural is not a new project within academia (or, in my little corner of the debate, art)--despite even my own desire to escape into "wilderness" at every turn, even after millennia of everyone from Aristotle to Ruskin to J.B. Jackson, Spirn, Bateson, Cronon, Harvey, Haraway, Parikka, et al have collapsed that bnary for at least the past 30,000 years.

I guess OOO just leaves me cold at the end of each text I encounter and I have to agree with Ursula Heise's critique of Morton (not of 'Ecology,' to be clear, but from her review of 'Hyperobjects,' yet I still find it fitting): his "seamless transition from the subatomic realm...to the cosmological realm of the extremely large without any discussion of the fact that theoretical physicists have found it very difficult to reconcile quantum mechanics with relativity theory" is messy, discomfiting, at best. At worst, these just feel like thought games to me and, well, when I can quite literally (that is, not at all metaphorically) step out of my house and scoop up a glass of Bateson's "ecology of bad ideas," I can't help but feel--at the elemental level? at the level of cellular mutation?--an urgency missing from Morton's thoughtful but ultimately not "Silent Spring"/"Limits to Growth" enough text. But maybe I'm just a downer.
  • Xava
Timothy Morton opens the door for reimagining the doors we could/might/can imagine through. I do not care if that makes any sense.
  • Thabel
To read Timothy Morton's "Ecology Without Nature" is to be slapped in the face, not with the content of his argument but with the style of his writing. Although for some reason he begins denying that his is a postmodern book written in postmodern prose, the opposite is evident to anyone who flips through and tries to work through the dense undergrowth of his prose. It comes as no surprise that he rejects association with the po-mo crowd but embraces deconstruction and Derrida, as if these had nothing to do with each other. Such contradiction runs rampant through the text, not hidden at all but celebrated as if establishing the deconstruction-ness of it all. And, as if to justify the writing style, Morton also cannot resist dropping the name of every philosopher he tripped (sic) over in grad school, those familiar and those unknown.
Perhaps we deserve this, but do we need it? Morton says yes, that Ecological writing, which he refers to with the neologism "ecomimesis," is too grounded in the romantic assumption that we humans can somehow, perhaps through literature, identify with the otherness we call "nature," thus Morton's critique of the "ecomimetic illusion of immediacy" what he also refers to as the "beautiful soul syndrome." His text is more a negative attack on the assumptions of romantic nature writers than the construction of an alternative. What is deconstruction if not a universal acid that deconstructs even its own efforts? So how could he create anything of any use, other than as a critique of the romantic assumptions running rampant?
In this, I am sympathetic to his argument even as I am repelled by his condescending voice. I see it, to some extent, in the tradition of William Cronon's critique of the idea of wilderness as far too romantic.
Yet why write in a voice that creates a wall between the text and the reader, since the point of writing is to communicate? Like any po-mo deconstructionist, Morton loves to throw around the word "commodity." Perhaps this is what such language is, the commodity of the graduate school and the tenure-track professor trying to establish his (or her) credentials in the hierarchical aristocracy of academia, entrance into which requires the possession of such a tongue?
I can imagine grad students trying to prove themselves worthy poring over the complexities inherent in every other sentence like medieval supplicants trying to approach the mysteries of the mass chanted in a Latin they did not know. It is a symbol of a world which seems full of knowing and mystery and wonder inside of which the holy of holies hides, revealed only to the inner sanctum of the priesthood.
Thus, we get a paragraph that begins "Ecomimetic ekphrasis sits in an oblique relation to the text," as indeed does the intelligent reader. What to make of: "This jetztzeit or nowness is an intense signifying atmosphere that erupts out of the `homogeneous empty time' of official reality, even when the ideological machinery is running smoothly."
Despite the modern and post-modern feel of his ramblings, what Morton cannot completely hide is his rediscovery of the pre-modern religious idea of "sin." No, not sex, but the reality that we are all trapped in this illusion of a text from which we cannot escape. That every attempt to get from "I" to "Thou" fails because we cannot escape ourselves. Hence Emily Dickinson:

How adequate unto itself
Its properties shall be
Itself unto itself and none
Shall make discovery

Adventure most unto itself
The Soul condemned to be -
Attended by a single hound
Its own identity.

That we cannot escape from ourselves into some blessed other we call Nature, the heart of the book, is thus an ancient tale retold many times, and in much clearer style. Back in the 60s, Norman O Brown said quite clearly, "The Fall is into language." Outside of the text is not, as Derrida said, nothing, but a void which to us is holy terror, not grace. Morton has brought us stumbling full circle back to the Old Testament: "In the fear of the Lord is the beginning of Wisdom."
  • DART-SKRIMER
I was lucky enough to be a student in one of Timothy Morton's graduate seminars at UC Davis in 2003 when he began working on Ecology without Nature, and it was simply a thrill to meander along with Prof. Morton through such a maze of literary, cultural, and philosophical texts--all to undo our most basic and, well, 'natural' conceptions of what Nature is (and isn't).

The seminar was nothing short of an adventure, and this spirit of adventure is reflected in the book that it became. And yet it's an adventure that involves a lot of doubling back and dispelling of illusions along the way. In other words, the maze quality remains: it is a book for slow readers, for a kind of patient searching that opens up many unexpected paths as you go. The method of Ecology without Nature is subtle and profound: Morton builds a vocabulary for reading ecologically, at the same time that he relentlessly strips Nature of its aura--or at the very least, Morton reveals how and why that aura came to be in the first place.

This book is key reading for anyone interested in matters of environment, ecology, aesthetics, nature writing, and even travel writing. It provides both an eclectic history of a trans-disciplinary motif, and it also makes convincing arguments for why we might do well to be wary of this motif (i.e., Nature with a big N).

Ecology without Nature is sort of a trick title: it's not so much a eulogy as a wager, or a question posed about what happens when we think about 'ecology' without the baggage of 'Nature'. (The answer, or a really a set of interlinked answers, appears in Morton's passionately written prequel, The Ecological Thought.)
  • Keth
2 stars is appropriate