This essay explores how early modern English gardening books train their readers to encounter the future. These works are plotted with the rhetoric of anticipation, teaching planting in an environment of risk, promise, disappointment, and decay, and folding readers and gardeners into the inhuman rhythms of plant time. Through an investigation of ideas about lifespan, memory, and survival in the works of orchardists William Lawson and Ralph Austen, I show how these practical engagements with planting imagine a version of time that depends as much on the recursive attachments of touch as the linear progress of sequence.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cultural Studies
- Literature and Literary Theory