The Botany of Desire
Random House, 2001 - 271 Seiten
In 1637, one Dutchman paid as much for a single tulip bulb as the going price of a town house in Amsterdam. Three and a half centuries later, Amsterdam is once again the mecca for people who care passionately about one particular plant — thought this time the obsessions revolves around the intoxicating effects of marijuana rather than the visual beauty of the tulip. How could flowers, of all things, become such objects of desire that they can drive men to financial ruin?
In The Botany of Desire, Michael Pollan argues that the answer lies at the heart of the intimately reciprocal relationship between people and plants. In telling the stories of four familiar plant species that are deeply woven into the fabric of our lives, Pollan illustrates how they evolved to satisfy humankinds's most basic yearnings — and by doing so made themselves indispensable. For, just as we've benefited from these plants, the plants, in the grand co-evolutionary scheme that Pollan evokes so brilliantly, have done well by us. The sweetness of apples, for example, induced the early Americans to spread the species, giving the tree a whole new continent in which to blossom. So who is really domesticating whom?
Weaving fascinating anecdotes and accessible science into gorgeous prose, Pollan takes us on an absorbing journey that will change the way we think about our place in nature.
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"Beauty always takes place in the particular," the critic Elaine Scarry has written, "
and if there are no particulars, the chances of seeing it go down." In a sense,
particular tulips are hard to come by — because they are so cheap and
tuliplike, so platonically themselves, that they skate past our regard like models
on a runway. One way to begin to slow down and recover the particular beauty of
a tulip, I discovered this spring, is to bring one indoors and look at it individually.
Yet its success is a precarious thing, for this particular set of potato genes (or
rather now, potato genes plus one Bt gene and one antibiotic-resistance gene,
courtesy of Monsanto) has also never been more vulnerable to the vicissitudes of
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Bewertungen von Nutzern
LibraryThing ReviewNutzerbericht - LynnB - LibraryThing
Very interesting book about the interrelationship between people and plants, specifically how various human desires have meshed with -- or messed with -- the desire of plants to procreate. The author ... Vollständige Rezension lesen
LibraryThing ReviewNutzerbericht - snash - LibraryThing
A very readable exploration of man's relationship to nature, particularly with our efforts to domesticate plants thereby forming a reciprocal relationship. The book includes a little philosophy, history, psychology as well as biology. Vollständige Rezension lesen
Beauty Plant The Tulip
Intoxication Plant Marijuana
Control Plant The Potato
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