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Waking up as terrestrials

Bruno Latour’s ecological fable on life after lockdown
by
December 2021, no. 438
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After Lockdown: A metamorphosis by Bruno Latour, translated by Julie Rose

Polity, $30 pb, 148 pp

Waking up as terrestrials

Bruno Latour’s ecological fable on life after lockdown
by
December 2021, no. 438
French philosopher Bruno Latour (Basso Cannarsa/Opale/Alamy)
French philosopher Bruno Latour (Basso Cannarsa/Opale/Alamy)

Bruno Latour’s new book, After Lockdown: A metamorphosis, is so engaging from the first that one feels obliged to begin just where he does: with an arresting portrait of a man who wakes from a long sleep to find that everything, save the moon and its indifferent rotations, makes him uneasy. Everywhere he sees reminders of the lost innocence of the Anthropocene. The sun brings to mind global warming; the trees, deforestation; the rain, drought. Nothing in the landscape offers solace. Pollution has left its mark everywhere, and he feels vaguely responsible for it all. And now, to top it off, the very breath that sustains his life carries the risk of premature death. How many of his neighbours might he infect (or be infected by) amid the vapour trails of his evening walk? Nature, it seems, is having its revenge, and the ‘in-out-in’ of lockdown threatens to become interminable.

Paul Muldoon reviews 'After Lockdown: A metamorphosis' by Bruno Latour, translated by Julie Rose

After Lockdown: A metamorphosis

by Bruno Latour, translated by Julie Rose

Polity, $30 pb, 148 pp

Buy this book

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Comment (1)

  • Bravo, Paul Muldoon. You really got this book, which was a joy to translate. Thank you.
    Posted by Julie Rose
    04 January 2022