Review of Second Nature by Jack Collom (Pt. 1)

Here, I apply techniques of Dark Ecology in a review of Jack Collom‘s book Second Nature, which received the Colorado Book Award in 2013.

Dark Ecology’s response to the Beautiful Soul Syndrome–characterized by the aesthetic move toward the outside, away from participation and responsibility–is, always, to move in and engage. Timothy Morton has identified a number of ways in which environmental art and nature writing foster attitudes of exploitation and consumerism. Using Hegel’s dialectic, he describes the condition as Beautiful Soul Syndrome or sardonically as BS Syndrome. In Ecology Without Nature, Morton identifies tropes in nature writing that frame experience within an ideological fantasy. The Dark Ecology outlined by Morton is a move through this ideological fantasy space using two techniques for engaging the Beautiful Soul: radical kitsch and radical juxtaposition. Morton eschews mystical Deep Ecology in favor of a universe of mechanical reproduction . In a word: Evolution. But not the folk version of evolution, summed up by the phrase survival of the fittest. Evolution, as the creation myth of our time, is a […]