Life with Ms Cayenne Pepper

Jenny Turner

  • Manifestly Haraway: ‘A Cyborg Manifesto’, ‘The Companion Species Manifesto’, Companions in Conversation (with Cary Wolfe) by Donna Haraway
    Minnesota, 300 pp, £15.95, April 2016, ISBN 978 0 8166 5048 4
  • Staying with the Trouble: Making Kin in the Chthulucene by Donna Haraway
    Duke, 312 pp, £22.99, August 2016, ISBN 978 0 8223 6224 1

The word ‘Anthropocene’, defined as ‘the era of geological time during which human activity is considered to be the dominant influence on the environment, climate and ecology of the earth’, only made it into the OED in 2014. But doesn’t it feel like it was a billion years ago already? Benjamin Kunkel, writing in the LRB of 5 March, found the term all over recent books of natural history, art and poetry, and on a death-metal album, and concluded his study of what the word might mean for Marxist political economists with an attempt to project it into the eagerly awaited post-capitalist future: ‘In the political sense of the term, then, the question about the Anthropocene isn’t when it began but whether it ever will, and if so, where first. Godspeed!’

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[*] Jenny Turner wrote about Elsa Morante’s The World Saved by Kids in the LRB of 20 April.