I originally intended in late May 2020, when the spring semester was finally over and I had some time to finish “Spring 2020 Links (Pre-COVID-19),” to post one big link dump for coronavirus-related things. But the hyperarchival barrage of news over the past three months, including everything that has happened in the United States the past three weeks (combined with how little time I still have . . .), has made it clear that it would be better to divide posts into smaller, more manageable bits. So here is everything I came across from March 11-April 15, 2020. More to come soon.
Sheri Fink and Mike Baker, “‘It’s Just Everywhere Already’: How Delays in Testing Set Back the US Coronavirus Response.”
The New York Times, “Coronavirus Map: Tracking the Global Outbreak,” “Coronavirus in the US: Latest Map and Case Count” and “Coronavirus Tips, Advice and Answers to Your New Questions.”
IHME, “COVID-19 Projections.”
Katie Zezima, Joel Achenbach, Tim Craig, and Lena H. Sun, “Coronavirus Is Shutting Down American Life as States Try to Battle Outbreak.”
Coronavirus Think Pieces (General)
Laurie Penny, “This Is Not the Apocalypse You Were Looking For.”
Naomi Klein, “Coronavirus Capitalism–and How to Beat It.”
Frank Pasquale, “Two Timelines of COVID Crisis.”
Ian Bogost, “Now Is the Time to Overreact.”
Arundhati Roy, “The Pandemic Is a Portal.”
Anne Applebaum, “The Coronavirus Called America’s Bluff.”
Dan Kois, “America Is a Sham.”
These links are coming a day late, but as anticipated, it has been a very busy semester.
Nuclear and Environmental
Lizzie Wade, “Earth in 10,000 Years.”
John Metcalfe, “Imagining the Most Catastrophic Climate Future Ever.”
Steven Vogel, “Environmental Ethics in a Postnatural World.”
Chris Mooney, “Why Some Scientists Are Worried About a Surprisingly Cold ‘Blob’ in the North Atlantic Ocean.”
Laurence Topham , Alok Jha and Will Franklin, “Building the Bomb.”
Ross Andersen, “Watching Nuclear War From Across the Galaxy.”
And a letter from Governor Jerry Brown.
Another semester is coming to a close, and I finally have a chance to sit down and sort through the backlog of links that have been piling up over the past few months. So, with no further ado, links.
Nuclear, Environment, Ruins
Thomas Erdbrink, “Iran’s Leaders Fall Into Line Behind Nuclear Accord.”
William J. Broad, “Hydrogen Bomb Physicist’s Book Runs Afoul of Energy Department.”
John R. Bolton, “To Stop Iran’s Bomb, Bomb Iran.” Um, no.
Douglas Birch and R. Jeffrey Smith, “South African Nuclear Cache Unnerves US.”
“South Africa Rebuffs US Attempts to Take Over Its Nuclear Material.”
Jon Greenberg, “The Odd Reality of Iran’s Centrifuges: Enough for a Bomb, Not Power.”
Charlie Jane Anders, “Nanotech Could Make Nuclear Bombs Much, Much Tinier.”
Andreas Malm, “The Anthropocene Myth.”
99% Invisible, “Ten Thousand Years.”
Life has been quite busy, so I don’t even have that big of a backlog of links, but there’s been some interesting things afoot and I’m way behind on some of this stuff. So, without further ado. . . .
The trailer to Paul Thomas Anderson’s forthcoming adaptation of Thomas Pynchon’s Inherent Vice (2009) should be required viewing:
Logan Hill, “Pynchon’s Cameo, and Other Surrealities: Paul Thomas Anderson Films Inherent Vice.”
And a reflection on the trailer from some of the people at Grantland.
Below is an abstract for a paper I will be presenting at the 2014 American Literature Association Conference, taking place May 22-25. I will be presenting this paper on a panel organized by the William Carlos Williams society, titled, “William Carlos Williams: The Poet-Doctor as Environmentalist.” The panel will be taking place 11:10-12:30 on May 23.
Apocalypse on Repeat: William Carlos Williams’s Spring and All and the Nuclear Imagination
Long out of print after their initial publication in 1923, the prose sections of Spring and All offer remarkable critical avenues for discussing William Carlos Williams’s environmentalism. Serving as both a frame for some of his more well-known poetry and a theoretical engagement with the volume’s central concern—the imagination—the prose of Spring and All cannot help but strike a contemporary reader with its anticipation of the post-apocalyptic and eco-disaster narratives of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. To begin the aesthetic work of poetic composition, Spring and All enacts total destruction followed by material repetition in order to allow Williams to formulate an imagination distinct from a romantic apocalyptic, a formulation essential for the development of his ecopoetics. The imagination in Spring and All is a material force. It is vibrant, organic, and radioactive. It is scientific and geological, and it is concerned with atomic physics well before the atom was split. This paper will argue that Spring and All articulates what I have called elsewhere a nuclear imagination. Drawing upon current reconsiderations of modernism’s relationship to atomic technology and my own conversations with J. Hillis Miller about Williams’s poetry and romanticism, I will suggest that Williams, through embracing this destructive, recursive, ironic, nuclear imagination, abandons an eschatology that could in any way be positive, even as something to be gone “beyond.” In this way, reconsidering Spring and All opens up a space for the contemporary environmental imagination that is neither apocalyptic nor post-apocalyptic, but rather thoroughly material and ecological.
As The Washington Post is reporting, analyses suggest this storm may be unlike anything the region has ever experienced,” and “a very prominent and respected National Weather Service meteorologist wrote on Facebook last night, ‘I’ve never seen anything like this and I’m at a loss for expletives to describe what this storm could do.'”