Fr. 88.00

Lichens - Toward a Minimal Resistance

English · Hardback

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Description

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Covering almost 8 percent of the earth's terrain, lichens are living beings which are familiar to everyone, known to no one. They are one of those organisms that seem to offer nothing to hold our gaze. But the more time we spend with lichens, the more they reveal their beauty, their mysteries and their strange power of attraction. Part-algae and part-fungus, lichens call into question our customary ways of classifying forms of life, and allow us to conceive of an ecology that is no longer based on distinctions between nature and culture, urban and rural, competition and cooperation.The result of several years of investigation carried out on several different continents, this remarkable book offers an original, radical, and, like its subject matter, symbiotic reflection on this common but mostly invisible form of life, blending cultures and disciplines, drawing on biology, ecology, philosophy, literature, poetry, even graphic art. What if lichens were at the heart of some of the most pressing and topical questions of our day? Does the fact that they can live everywhere, even in very harsh environments, that they persist when almost all other traces of life have disappeared, mean that, despite their fragility, lichens are a force of resistance?After reading this book you will never see lichens, or the world, in the same way again.

List of contents

Illustrations ixAcknowledgments xiiiPreface by Emanuele Coccia xivPart 1First Contacts 1Origins 1Winters 2Weeds 3A Scientific Challenge: Remaining or Rising in the Ranks 12Customs and Beliefs 22Lichen Erotics 34Part 2To Describe, Name, Represent 45A Challenge to Representation 45Music = Mushroom 72The Far East, Mosses, and Wabi-Sabi 77Part 3Ecopoetics: Life Force and Resistance 91Ruderal 91Rousseauist Walks 92Sentinel Species 108"Lichens of sunlight and mucus of azure" 112"Sbarbarian" Glowworm 116Ecological Forewarnings 124Fragility, Resistance 132Contemporary "Poethics" 134"Insurrection of the Humble" 156Micro-habitats 166Part 4Toward a Symbiotic Way of Thought 173The Politics of Lichen: at the Origins of Symbiosis 175Chimeras, Vampires, and Other Common Monsters 192A "Third Place" 197Cohabitation 210Envoi: Sporules 215Notes 220Index of Names 255Index of Lichens 260

About the author










Vincent Zonca is a researcher and writer who is currently living in Canada.


Summary

Covering almost 8 percent of the earth's terrain, lichens are living beings which are familiar to everyone, known to no one. They are one of those organisms that seem to offer nothing to hold our gaze. But the more time we spend with lichens, the more they reveal their beauty, their mysteries and their strange power of attraction. Part-algae and part-fungus, lichens call into question our customary ways of classifying forms of life, and allow us to conceive of an ecology that is no longer based on distinctions between nature and culture, urban and rural, competition and cooperation.

The result of several years of investigation carried out on several different continents, this remarkable book offers an original, radical, and, like its subject matter, symbiotic reflection on this common but mostly invisible form of life, blending cultures and disciplines, drawing on biology, ecology, philosophy, literature, poetry, even graphic art. What if lichens were at the heart of some of the most pressing and topical questions of our day? Does the fact that they can live everywhere, even in very harsh environments, that they persist when almost all other traces of life have disappeared, mean that, despite their fragility, lichens are a force of resistance?

After reading this book you will never see lichens, or the world, in the same way again.

Report

"Vincent Zonca has compiled a veritable pot-pourri of sympoietic intimacies. These crinkled expressions of desire and despair creep, slowly and unobtrusively, across every page, even as they breathe the air. Never has a work of literature more closely resembled its subject matter, inspiring wonder in equal measure. Welcome to the world of lichens!"--Tim Ingold, University of Aberdeen"[L]yrically-written. . . . there's something new and sparkling every few pages"--Leonardo Reviews

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