Tuesday, December 15, 2015

The Ark in the Garden. (1998)

     Alberto Manguel, ed. The Ark in the Garden. (1998) A well-made little book, a collection of fables or parables about current politics, economics, values. Margaret Atwood’s, A Christmas Lorac which inverts the Scrooge story, is typical: a reminder that our present version of capitalism is dysfunctional, a polite word for an appalling reality. The major theme is the disconnect between our understanding of ecosystems and our economic values. The common notion is that we can choose between “the environment” and “the economy.” That’s like believing we can choose between eating and breathing. We’ve become insane.
     The minor theme is freedom, the freedom to be what one is without unjust constraints, whether those constraints are our obligations to others, or limits on our choices, or others’ indifference. These two themes I think are related by a more abstract one: the necessity of growing up.
     A good book. ***

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