The plant, the cat and the cockroach: the entangled ethics of thinking dis-anthropocentrically with Adília Lopes 30 de xuño de 2021
The plant, the cat and the cockroach: the entangled ethics of thinking dis-anthropocentrically with Adília Lopes
Politically anti-speciesist, the poetry of Adília Lopes responds to an ethical duty of care towards other species. By staging multi-species encounters, for example with cats and cockroaches, whose vulnerable lives intervene in the poet’s, it provides fertile ground for exploring the interrelatedness of human and nonhuman life. The animals of Adilian poetry are, more often than not, living bodies – material, temporal, and susceptible to suffering. By addressing the vulnerability of nonhuman animals, and frequently endowing them with individual personalities, Adília’s poetry de-genericises them and supports their striving for life. Human exceptionalism has no place in her poetic universe. I contend that Adília Lopes can be read productively alongside the work of environmental humanities scholar Stacey Alaimo, whose work on the transcorporeal porous boundaries between human and nonhuman bodies resonates with the poet’s construction of a lyric subject who is deeply affected by – and implicated in – the lives of other species, even to the point of embodying their own idiosyncrasies within herself. Ever alive to our ethical entanglements with the nonhuman, Adília’s poetry helps us to think ‘dis-anthropocentrically’ by extending our definition of the human to encompass it within a web of all of its interrelations, as well as imaginatively dissolving the human as a distinctive category in itself.