All posts tagged: lonely days

A Novel That Forces Readers to Look in the Mirror

A Novel That Forces Readers to Look in the Mirror

“Thinking ecologically about global warming requires a kind of mental upgrade,” Timothy Morton, the environmental philosopher, has written, “to cope with something that is so big and so powerful that until now we had no real word for it.” In 2008, Morton tried to invent one: hyperobject. The term doesn’t necessarily connote a value judgment, that this enormous thing is good or bad, but simply that in its hugeness it is inescapable, like air. To wrap one’s mind around the idea of a hyperobject is to accept that we, humans, “can’t jump out of the universe.” And according to Morton, being able to acknowledge the scale of a phenomenon as all-encompassing as, say, climate change, to name it, might be the first step toward actually doing something about it. Hyperobjects abound in our globalized world: the internet, fast fashion, microplastics—things that cannot easily be measured using a single metric. A character in Lydia Kiesling’s new novel, Mobility, tries to explain the concept and lands on this: “It’s something so big and sticky with so many …