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Fionnáin

fionnain@bookwyrm.social

Joined 1 year, 3 months ago

I arrange things into artworks, including paint, wood, plastic, raspberry pi, people, words, dialogues, arduino, sensors, web tech, light and code.

I use words other people have written to help guide these projects, so I read as often as I can. Most of what I read is literature (fiction) or nonfiction on philosophy, art theory, ethics and technology.

Also on Mastodon.

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Surfacing (Hardcover, 2019, Sort of Books) 5 stars

Unearthing the past

5 stars

Kathleen Jamie has a unique voice for teasing out poetic responses to landscape while also telling stories with a deceptive ease. This collection is about digging up stories of the past, with some shorter chapters surrounding three longer ones. The shorter are responsive while the longer are the centre-points for the book, and each deals with a different archaeology. The first of the three takes place in the Arctic tundra, where Jamie visits an archaeological dig with people from the Yup'ik culture who are collecting objects from hundreds of years ago that are being revealed by the melting ice. The second is at an archaeological dig on Westray island in Scotland on a prehistorical site of living. The third is an unearthing of Jamie's own memory, through her rediscovering a notebook from a trip to Tibet in her early 20s, at the time of the student protests in China. The …

Planet (Paperback, 2021, Center for Humans & Nature) 4 stars

Vol. 1. – Planet Cosmic/Elemental/Planetary Kinship

With every breath, every sip of water, every meal, …

Water, Moon, Mountain

4 stars

Planet is the first of a 5-volume curated collection of essays and poems about kinship released by the Centre for Humans and Nature. As with many collections, it features a variety of writing, some strong and some not. The first volume is on "planet" and combines thoughts on this pale blue dot from thinkers, writers, artists, poets and philosophers.

Overall, the writing is of a very high standard and the collection is well presented. Standout essays include Andrew S. Yang's Kinshape, which is a conversetion with stardust as kin, via his mother. Co-editor Robin Wall Kimmerer's part-speculative fiction about humans being invited back into the family by other creatures that share this space is thoughtful and wonderful. Ceridwen Dovey's essay on giving rights to the moon raises fascinating questions and is written with a beautiful sense of care. However some of the essays fail to land, particularly the "celebrity" …

Planet (Paperback, 2021, Center for Humans & Nature) 4 stars

Vol. 1. – Planet Cosmic/Elemental/Planetary Kinship

With every breath, every sip of water, every meal, …

What if species loneliness goes both ways? What if the other beings are lonely for us, too? Certainly, they long for our respect and gratitude. But perhaps they also long for our company, the way we can be brilliant and flawed, wise, ignorant, ugly, beautiful, and downright hilarious. Relatives accept you no matter what. What if they miss our stories? What if they are asking for help and [~~] we just put on our headphones and turn away? That's not what was agreed to at the beginning of the earth, or what is needed so much nearer to the end.

Planet by , ,

At [~~] changes to p118

From the always-brilliant Robin Wall Kimmerer, in her essay A Family Reunion Near The End Of The World, pp111-124

Human Acts (Paperback, 2017, Portobello Books) 5 stars

One Face Among Many

5 stars

Han Kang's Human Acts is a story of grief from genocide that spans over thirty years. Ostensibly, it is a series of short stories that centre on the Guangju Uprising in South Korea in 1980, and its aftermath. But within this frame, Kang focuses the lens on one protagonist, Dong Ho, who is loosely or closely connected with the characters in the other chapters. She uses Dong Ho to connect the namelessness of a massacre with a very real (albeit fictional) child.

The storytelling as presented in the translation is excellent, visceral, beautiful and heartbreaking. Each character is fleshed out by Kang's brilliant ability to make words into humans. And in the end, this makes the book not only a lament but a powerful force. The repeat references to bodies (sweat, pain, "sacks of meat") are deeply evocative, and the thinly veiled references to US involvement in the mistreatment of …

Planet (Paperback, 2021, Center for Humans & Nature) 4 stars

Vol. 1. – Planet Cosmic/Elemental/Planetary Kinship

With every breath, every sip of water, every meal, …

Astronomers claim that the big bang brought time and space into being. In their absence, there was no where or when to speak of, and consequently no relationships of any sort: now and then, here and there, this and that are discernable only within the territories of difference that time and space create between things. In this (meta)physics, difference and distinction turn out to be exactly what allow everything to relate to everything else. Logically and paradoxically, it is only through the precondition of separation that connection and kinship are possible.

Planet by , ,

From the flawless essay 'Kinshape' by Andrew S. Yang (pp 22-29). I could easily quote the whole essay as a single paragraph does not do it justice.