In the past several years, working alongside fellow writers and translators who strive to operate with feminist, decolonial aesthetics (including my cohort of contributors to Sophie Collins’s edited volume Currently and Emotion: Translations, as well as Tilted Axis Press), I’ve become invested in the active ethos of not italicizing supposedly “foreign” words—words that supposedly aren’t used in the dominant culture. I’ve come to understand the practice of italicizing such words as a form of linguistic gatekeeping; a demarcation between which words are “exotic” or “not found in the English language,” and those that have a rightful place in the text: the non-italicized.
What a question. Why the hell not? That would be the impression one gets when reading the work of Mark Sargent, and even more so when speaking with him.
As wildlife-watching locations go, Tongass National Forest in the panhandle of southeast Alaska is hard to beat. An unfathomable 16.7m acres of old-growth spruce, hemlock and cedar, as well as glacial fjords, rivers and valleys, it is North America’s largest forest – 20 times the size of Yosemite National Park and as big as Ireland.
Some of the trees have been here for 1,000 years; all of them play a hugely important role in absorbing large amounts of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere – more than any other forest in America. It is also a brown bear-watching hotspot, although glossy black bear, wolf, otter, beaver and salmon swell the rivers and fjords, too. There are also mountain goats, flying squirrels, river otters, humpback whales, orcas and bald eagles. Small wonder it was one of the favourite places of renowned Scottish-American conservationist John Muir.
Janelle Lynch invites you to look closer, and slower. She'd want you to see each image as a world in itself — not an accidental grouping of plant matter, but a well-ordered composition created by nature and fixed in time and space by her 8-by-10-inch large-format camera.
Her implicit message is that one needs only to be still, take your time and pay close attention to find the beauty that surrounds you. But, like meditation, this seemingly simple act is often more difficult than it appears.
“In the fullness of time all that lives will die.” With this bleak truth Brian Greene, a physicist and mathematician at Columbia University, the author of best-selling books like “The Elegant Universe” and co-founder of the yearly New York celebration of science and art known as the World Science Festival, sets off in “Until the End of Time” on the ultimate journey, a meditation on how we go on doing what we do, why and how it will end badly, and why it matters anyway.