Tim Morton (Rice University) has a new piece up entitled “I’ve been kicked in the biosphere.” As with a fair bit of Morton’s writing, it has his particular cadence, and is enjoyable to read.
What I found interesting in the piece is that Morton, like so many others – from the French philosophes to American naturalists – is returning to the “land question” and what to do with agriculture. Morton’s take is that there is a whole set of industrial and logistical programs in place that are built upon, and entwined with, agriculture. Or what he calls agrilogistics. I think, but am not positive, that Morton is the first of the new realists to look at the agricultural question. I don’t see a lot that is new on this front just yet, but will look forward to seeing how he develops this strain of thought in future works. I listened to some of his Wellek Lectures, where he talked a little about agrilogistics. I tend not to think of lectures as the sorts of things one should cite, since very often people follow something that occurs to them in the moment – as they think something through publicly – that they don’t pursue later. And since I think that is precisely what makes lectures fascinating, I’ll wait to see what more comes out in print from Morton with respect to his take on the land question.