Tim Morton’s book will open your mind to a new way of being

Updated 14 May 2018
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Tim Morton’s book will open your mind to a new way of being

BEIRUT: “Being Ecological” will interest anyone passionate about ecology, but this is not the readership Tim Morton is targeting. Being Ecological is primarily meant for anyone who doesn’t care about ecology. “Don’t read ecology books? This book is for you,” says  Morton, acknowledging that ecology books are either clogged with information already out of date by the time they are published or filled with shocking news to make us feel bad.

“This book has none of that” and “it also contains no ecological facts, no shocking revelations about our world, no ethical or political advice, and no grand tour of ecological thinking. This is a pretty useless ecology book, in fact,” says Morton. His wry humor and playful tone run throughout this collection of essays which show us how to live ecological knowledge through the lense of philosophy, literature and popular culture.

“I have a lot of sympathy for the ‘What are we going to do?’ sort of question. And this is precisely why I refuse to give it a straight answer,” writes Morton. 

In a powerful and dazzling display of intellectual calisthenics, Morton opens our minds to new ways of thinking. 

The narrative is clever, challenging and hardly coherent.  He writes like he thinks: Unrestrained and unbridled. He re-molds the language, invents words and brings a new dimension to the art of writing so you can feel the texture of an idea, the taste of a thought and express the color of a feeling.

Tim Morton has devised an exhilarating approach to creating a liveable future. All forms of life are connected. Each one of us is a symbiotic being entwined with other symbiotic beings. 

This interconnectedness encompasses all dimensions of life. In other words, being ecological is not an option because we are ecological.


What We Are Reading Today: Alienation of a January child

Updated 15 June 2018
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What We Are Reading Today: Alienation of a January child

A line resonates with me from Safia Elhillo’s collection of poetry which traces her journey as a January child. 

Elhillo describes the January children as “the generation born in Sudan under British occupation, where children were assigned birth years by height, all given the birth date January 1.”

In a raw collection, Elhillo addresses being Sudanese-American, and her constant feelings of not belonging to either. She delves into postcolonial Sudan, and how she no longer recognizes the Sudan her mother and grandmother relayed to her through tales and trips when she was a child.

This is a book that continues to mean something to me because of Elhillo’s unabashed usage of Arabic terms. She weaves them in with English in a way that reminds me a lot of how my brain works, expressing myself in a tongue that is neither Arabic nor English. 

But what first drew me to grab a copy of “The January Children” was the poet’s relationship with everyone’s beloved Egyptian singer, Abdelhalim Hafez, and how she seemed continuously to converse with him, seeing herself in his lyrics — as we all do; it reverberated with me as I’ve had a childhood filled with his music, and I’ve grown to listen to him even more as an adult.