chapter  5
7 Pages

Coevolutionary Histories — the Poetics of a Paradox

The desire for more is precisely what expelled man and woman from the garden in the first place; wanting more in the pursuit of gardens and landscapes we call 'Edenic' is a fundamental paradox. In a coevolutionary bargain like the one struck by the bee and the apple tree, the two parties act on each other to advance their individual interests but wind up trading favors: food for the bee, transportation for the apple genes. Consciousness need not enter into it on either side, and the traditional distinction between subject and object is meaningless. The grammar might teach us to divide the world into active subjects and passive objects, but in a coevolutionary relationship every subject is also an object, every object a subject. Literature about gardens in the twentieth and early twenty-first century is formulated in the shadow of two modes: the monumental Garden of Myth and the myriad gardens in (coevolutionary) histories.