This PDF ebook, “Reading for Wonder: Ecology, Ethics, Enchantment” begins by unfolding the nature and artifice of wonder as a human capacity and as a fabricated experience. In a world awash in awesome, sensual technological experiences, wonder has diverse powers, including awakening us to unexpected ecological entanglements and intimacies. Yet this deeply felt experience — at once aesthetic, cognitive, and ethical — has been dangerously neglected in our cultural education. In order to cultivate the imaginative empathy and caution this feeling evokes, we need to teach ourselves and others to read for wonder.
Ranging across foodstuffs, wonder cabinets, movies, poetry, tropical islands, apes, abstract painting, penguins and more, Reading for Wonder offers an anatomy of wonder in transmedia poetics, then explores its ethical power and political risks from early modern times to our present day. To save ourselves and the teeming life of our planet, indeed to flourish, we must liberate wonder from ideologies of enchantment and disenchantment, understand its workings and their ethical ambivalence, and give it a clear language and voice.