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start, then, that the different kinds of forests in ques- tion will come together in one way or another to tell an overt or covert story of the post-Christian era, into whose horizon we now pass. The post-Christian era is broadly defined here in terms of his tori- cal detachment from the past. The first section of the chapter suggests that the era unfolds under the Cartesian auspices of Enlightenment. If Petrarch can be called the "father of humanism," then Descartes can be called the father of Enlightenment. In his Discourse on Method Des- cartes compares the


[ CON,EN'S ] Preface ix Acknowledgments X1l1 1. FIRST THE FORESTS 1 Vico's Giants 3 The Demon of Gilgamesh 13 The Virgin Goddess 19 Dionysos 30 The Sorrows of Rhea Silvia 46 From Mythic Origins to Deforestation 52 2. S HAD 0 W S 0 F LAW 61 The Knight's Adventure 65 Forest Law 69 Outlaws 75 Dante's Line of Error 81 Shadows of Love 87 The Human Age 91 Macbeth's Conclusion 100 3. E N L I G H TEN MEN T 107 The Ways of Method 108 What is Enlightenment? A Question for Foresters 114 Rousseau 125 VII Conrad's Brooding Gloom 133 Roquentin

, 70, 75-76; New Forest, 75; outlaws, 75-81 Enkidu, IS, 18,65 Encyclopedie, 115, 118, 121, I25 Endangered Species Act, 123-24 Enlightenment, 107-52; definition of, II 4-1 5, II6; and Descartes, 107, I II; forest types in, 107, 125; and Rousseau, I25, I26-27, 13 r; and utility, I20; Vico's ac- count of,S Entropy, law of, 54, 57-58 I N D E X 279 Ephesus, 20, 21, 57 Epping Forest, 218-20 Eternal return, 43-45 Euripides, 33, 36, 38 Europe: medieval attitude toward forests, 61-64 Eustace the Monk, 77 Evander, 1-2, 49-50 Evans, Sir Arthur, 178 Evelyn

, pattern, and natural history. In The Book of Snakes, I will introduce the reader to 600 species, almost one in six of all snakes known. For those who are unfamiliar with snakes, I aim to dispel myths and bring enlightenment and understanding about one of the most maligned groups of animals on the planet. For those who are already snake aficionados, I hope to introduce rare or elusive species that may have previously passed beneath their radar. In selecting which 600 species to feature in The Book of Snakes, I went for diversity, including many of the familiar

Philosophy of Enlightenment. Translated by F. C. Koellin andJ. P. Pettegrove. Boston: Beacon Press, 1951. Caufield, Catherine. "The Ancient Forest." The New Yorker (14 May 1990): 46- 84. Cavell, Stanley. "Ending the Waiting Game: A Reading of Beckett's End- game." In Must We Mean What We Say?, II5-62. New York: Charles Scrib- ner's Sons, 1969. 268 W 0 R K SCI TED ---. The Senses of Walden. San Francisco: North Point Press, 1981. ---. "Thinking of Emerson." In The Senses of Walden, 121-38. Chretien de Troyes. Yvain. In Arthurian Romances, translated by W. W. Com

Thomas Sheehan, whose reading of an earlier draft of this section was very helpful. What Is Enlightenment? A Question for Foresters.My approach to Enlight- enment has obvious affinities with the critical views put forth by Horkeimer and Adorno in their book Dialectic of Enlightenment. However, the affinities are even greater with Italo Calvino, whose novel The Baron in the Trees (set in the eighteenth century) contains a poetic critique of Enlightenment's humanist ideology. Calvino's Baron, named Cosimo, spends his life in the trees. He attains notoriety among

scientists as a source of enlightenment and dis- covery, to tell us about wolves and nature and about our place and responsibilities. Letters in newspapers give us a feel for different meanings of the wolf. Both the letters and the wolves have public uses, political and cultural. Is the wolf a majestic animal or a vile creature to be destroyed? The wolf, like nature, regardless how we construct it, is a self- originating, self- arising entity, as near as we can tell, and it seems independent of us. The wolf exists as a reality or kind of truth about the world that

starting to slouch? Ah, stopped counting. One, two, three, four, five, six— I wonder what enlightenment feels like? Is it a completely recognizable moment or something that comes on gradually like the Doppler effect? Why is my stomach burbling? Oh, yeah, nachos. Dang it. Breathe. One, two— If nothing else, there is value to just sitting still. I run around too much. All these thoughts bouncing around inside my brain right now, where do they even come from? Am I in a dissociative state? Wait a minute: there is no “I”! But then who is on this cushion? Who is asking

academy. The moment thinking takes refuge within these walls and leaves the provinces of the mind, the nation, or the empire, it can no longer remain radical. At most it can become a form of "metaphysics" that searches for cosmic foundations within the clearings of Enlightenment. The most fundamental kind of thinking is invariably provincial, in one form or another. Hence the famous anec- dote about Heraclitus, reported by Aristotle: "The story is told of something Heraclitus said to some strangers who wanted to come visit him. Having arrived, they saw him

abalone, 332. See also black abalone; green abalone; pink abalone; red abalone; white abalone Abbott, Charles Conrad, 157 Abundant Wildlife Society of North America, 448 Acadie, 71 Acansa, 202, 203 acorn, 175, 355, 377, 378 acorn woodpecker, 156, 377 Acosta, José de, 253, 254 Act Agaynst the Killinge of Ouer Young Tortoyses, An, 239 Adams, John, 39 Age of Enlightenment, 143, 174, 401, 429 agrarian democracy, 428, 429, 437 Alabama, 139, 158, 208 Alabama River, 211 Alaska, 96, 112, 326, 361, 414, 445 Albany, 151 Albemarle Sound, 71, 73 Alberta, 114 alcatraz