Ecologies of the After:
Worlding in the Wake of Catastrophe

“Literature becomes a privileged platform to tell the story of matter, to make its inwardness tangible while revealing its inexhaustibility. The first frames of Alain Resnais’s Hiroshima mon amour are striking: an aerial view of the rebuilt city of Hiroshima questions our knowledge of the place by figuring it spreading out like a rhizome. Our approach is changed, we consider the place differently: ten years after its bombing and the atomic mushroom, the city lights at night now bear strange resemblance to the underground, rhizomatic mycorrhizal networks (Tsing, Mushroom 139). The motif of the mushroom “at the end of the world” has been thoroughly explored, and I take it up as an example to underline the heuristic gains of such an image: it makes the cross-pollination of several ontological levels possible and allows us to map the real.” (12)