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Showing posts from July 25, 2010

The woods

If I wereeeee kinggg of the foreeeesssst A post that I will expand later: The Europeans were amazed that Indians seemed to have no rules to limit the persons who could hunt. They believed that there was no order among the savage nations, and that a sing of this was that all males could hunt regardless of station. In Europe, of course, hunting had long been a militarized zone between the notables and the obscure – the rustic could not, legally, hunt. But such laws were as good as their enforcement, which was often ad hoc, and always corruptible. My sense of the numerous small, seemingly discrete shifts in attitude and use that made the world, or nature, an object of use for “man” is not backgrounded by a nostalgic attitude attached to medieval common lands or the like. It is backgrounded, mostly, by the dream of Carpenter Shih, and similar moments in which the tears and breaks in the historical picture – in the canvas we think we know – let in unexepected lights, a steady small tim

Travelling through the republic of wolves: Dom Juan and Little Red Riding Hood

Contra Deleuze, I am more interested in the tree than the rhizome, the tree that my ape ancestors climbed, and that my hominid ancestors, in Europe, worshipped, chopped down, feared when there was a mass of them stretching for hundreds of miles across the country, and went across the globe to encounter, Paul Bunyan axe in hand, on the shores of the New World. I myself, as a boy, was an ardent climber of trees. The bark that would come away, the ants you would find, the life of the thing, hiding in the top branches. I like to think that the way I misread the story of Fontenelle in the forested park at Mésangère is a deeper sign of the times: that Fontenelle, in explaining to Madame de la Mésangère the orbits of the planets, carved their figures into her beech trees. Not rhetorical figures. Of course, the tenuous connection of friendship and family, the linking of one Rouennais to another, doesn’t quite explain or justify my sense that l’esprit geometrique and the Perrault’s tales, or