Muse-ecology: on birds and other tuning forks
A new article in The Brooklyn Rail
Appearing in the December 2021-January 2022 issue of The Brooklyn Rail, my article was commissioned by WJT Mitchell for the Critic’s Page that the magazine invited him to curate and edit. Tom’s chosen theme was “Sounding the Idols,” inspired by Nietzsche’s Preface to Twilight of the Idols where the philosopher advocates approaching the idols with a tuning-fork, thereby not smashing them with a hammer, but tapping them so that they are made to emit music.
My essay is part of my current book project on “extinction aesthetics” wherein ethical and aesthetic responses to species extinction—such as the ongoing loss of millions of birds and their birdsong—are argued to involve being attuned to these ensuing silences, to this mute music.