LA Review of Books: Global Warming and Other Hyperobjects

By Stephen Muecke
LA Review of Books

Morton_hyperobjects cover[excerpt]

The hyperobject is a catchy concept  — that is, it catches you while you can’t quite catch it. Morton first established it in The Ecological Thought (2010). His new book explains why everyone is affected by hyperobjects, even if they strive to deny their existence. Climate, natural oil reserves, the English language are all hyperobjects in that they cannot be grasped as “simple” objects. Have you ever met “English”? No, but what you experience every day are groping attempts to make meaning with words. Whispered lovers’ words and words digitized and zapped across the internet are materially quite different things, but both belong to the hyperobject we call the English language. Here’s another example: you feel the existence of global oil reserves each time you check, while pumping gas, how much the price has gone up; and you sense there is something to do with oil in the Middle East conflicts, and how it makes you want to debate the hijab.

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