[Publishing] Decentring humanity

Some more good publishing news!

Virolution, a little monologue, is now available to read in the 4th issue of The Antihumanist!

Image description for screenreaders: The above is the front cover of the 4th edition of The Antihumanist. It features a painting of a young white woman in an old-fashioned red dress, looking straight at the viewer. The top half of her head, above the eyes, has degenerated into smears and streaks of paint. The lower half of her arms vanish into dark rents in the canvas.

I’m horrendously excited to read the remainder of the magazine, perhaps even more so than I was to be able to submit something to them and have it accepted; Antihumanism is both a philosophical concept approaching ideas of “human nature” and human history as relative, or metaphysical, and also in more recent years a term applied to the disruption of the view of humanity as the natural focal point of existence, whether that existence is the real world or the fictional one.

I encountered it in this form via Entangled Life and adjacent texts such as the fascinating and free-to-read Queer Theory for Lichens, and from an ecological and cosmological perspective it makes entire sense to me. At various points in my, shall we say, compulsive autodidactism (an artifact of having a formal education that ranged between “shit” and “non-existent”), I’ve encountered concepts which have also contributed to this acceptance of antihumanism-in-its-ecological-sense; often from the field of ecology, but also microbiology, the very little astrophysics I can understand, and even the fragments of human embriology, psychology, and neurology that I’ve had the chance to pick up built the scaffold from which said acceptance could be constructed. And I’m slowly working my way through Everything Flows (free for Kindle readers), whose description of organisms as nested processes taking place over different timescales, from the swift timescales of metabolism and mitosis-through-to-apoptosis, to the longer processes of puberty and senescence (and of course the metaprocess of population growth or decline, etc etc) is serving to underpin the idea that humanity really isn’t deserving of a special role in any universal outlook…

for any reason other than we’re the ones doing the looking.

Which is a very complicated way of saying that humanity’s persistent navel-gazing and mirror-stroking in literature and journalism gets a bit tedious, and sometimes it’s much more interesting to address what shape the world is from the perspective of a volcano, or a sunspot–or the successive generations of virus that just got large portions of the world locked up, masked up, or dead, and which is still frolicking through human populations globally with wild abandon.

Anyway. Please read The Antihumanist and either subscribe or donate to their magazine so that they can continue paying authors like me to explore what other perspectives there are on the universe than those offered by every newspaper columnist in the world, week in, week out.

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