Walking & Observing


In comments about the journal Archipelago, NB (TLS 13 Nov) we read about the contributors: “Walking and observing — birds, rocks, and waves — are to them what the image and objective correlative were to an earlier squad.”

Really? No “theory” between the naked eye and the perception? No “intermedium” (to use the new ontological word)? No “technique” (to use the New Critical word)? Just the birds and rocks in themselves? Just this transparency?

Under the pressure of a sense of doom about the earth, we may be tempted to a kind of immanentism that says more about us than the birds and rocks.

In the long run, we need to develop the idea of “the world-as-text” (see Oliver Davies The Creativity of God)– preserving the Earth’s integrity, its otherness.  

We need to think more about some difficult topics. The distance of analogy — a scrupulous appreciation of the unavoidable chiasmus of perception — helps empty the mind of fantasy brought on by our panic at the fate of the earth.

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