Ecopoetics Along Shorelines


April 2, 2018

“Finishing” nature is the modernist project of straightening, simplifying: rivers flowing straight to the sea, crops coming up in rows, people who stand in line and pay their taxes on time. All of history would seem to lead inexorably to this achievement – but what comes after utopia? Tafoya’s vision of the future points to the hubris of Western scientific modernism, imagining still-alive (un-finished?) Indians unearthing the remnants of a past civilization that considered itself futuristic. Like a meandering river, this version of time turns back on itself, cuts off its own bends, leaves behind oxbow remnants to become ghostly wetlands.

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