It’s been a long year, long for many reasons, but here’s a backlog of some links. (Some very good news is imminent. . . .)
Nuclear and Environmental
New York Times Editorial Board, “The Finger on the Nuclear Button.”
Rebecca Savranksy, “US May Launch Strike if North Korea Moves to Test Nuclear Weapon.”
Kaveh Waddell, “What Happens if a Nuclear Bomb Goes Off in Manhattan.”
Laurel Wamsley, “Digitization Unearths New Data From Cold War-Era Nuclear Test Films.”
Michael Biesecker and John Flesher, “President Trump Institutes Media Blackout at EPA.”
Brian Kahn, “The EPA Has Started to Remove Obama-Era Information.”
Zoë Schlanger, “Hackers Downloaded US Government Climate Data and Stored It on European Servers as Trump Was Being Inaugurated.”
Cass R. Sunstein, “Making Sense of Trump’s Order on Climate Change.”
Laurie Penny, “The Slow Confiscation of Everything.”
I am pleased to report that my essay, “Geologies of Finitude: The Deep Time of Twenty-First-Century Catastrophe in Don DeLillo’s Point Omega and Reza Negarestani’s Cyclonopedia,” was just published in the most recent issue of Critique: Studies in Contemporary Fiction. This essay has been in the works for some time, and I am happy to see it emerge into the light of day.
An abstract: The twenty-first century has seen a transformation of twentieth-century narrative and historical discourse. On the one hand, the cold war national fantasy of mutually assured destruction has multiplied, producing a diverse array of apocalyptic visions. On the other, there has been an increasing sobriety about human finitude, especially considered in the light of emerging discussions about deep time. This essay argues that Don DeLillo’s Point Omega (2010) and Reza Negarestani’s Cyclonopedia: Complicity with Anonymous Materials (2008) make strong cases for the novel’s continuing ability to complicate and illuminate contemporaneity. Written in the midst of the long and disastrous United States incursions in the Middle East, DeLillo and Negarestani raise important political questions about the ecological realities of the War on Terror. Each novel acknowledges that though the catastrophic present cannot be divorced from the inevitable doom at the end of the world, we still desperately need to imagine something else.