Author Archives: Dr. Diane Fortenberry

Dr. Diane Fortenberry is a Mississippi-born, London-adopted writer, editor, and sometime archaeologist. Her interest in the collapse of civilizations has endured since before she wrote her PhD thesis on Mycenaean warfare, and continues apace. She has published widely on Greek and Roman archaeology, early travel, art history, and photography, less widely as a poet and memoirist, and is working on a novel set in the American Deep South, ancient Athens, and the London Underground. She tweets as @wisecynic when insomnia gets the better of her. (Author Head Shot Augment: René Laanen.)

“‘Orwell’s Roses,’ by Rebecca Solnit”

“Nineteen Eighty-Four was published in the spring of 1949, less than a year before its author’s death, in January 1950. In a statement published in Life magazine, addressed to the head of the United Auto Workers union in the US, he wrote, ‘I do not believe that the kind of society I describe necessarily will […]

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Antigone: A Study in Rebellion

“Antigone was a favorite play of ancient philosophers because it promotes debate (e.g. what is law, is Antigone as guilty of arrogant dogmatism as Creon, and how shall we think about the powerless?), and the centuries since have seen many translations, perhaps most notably by the Classicist and poet Anne Carson (Antigonick, Bloodaxe Books 2012). […]

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Entangled Life: How Fungi Make our Worlds, Change our Minds, and Shape our Futures, by Merlin Sheldrake

“The usefulness of fungi is, for us, a lucky biproduct of their own independent lifeways, and their constancy, resourcefulness, and apparent equitability are reminders that we are not as special as we think. At a time when political and moral compasses seem broken and our lives themselves are at the mercy of a virus we […]

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Antigone Rising: The Subversive Power of the Ancient Myths, by Helen Morales

“The danger of mythology—not just Classical myth, but all myth, from Norse to Japanese to African to Native American—is that it is so deep-rooted in the contemporary cultures to which it is ancestral that ancient social practices and preferences and justifications have become part of the DNA of modern societies—mutations that we think of (when […]

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Braiding Sweetgrass, by Robin Wall Kimmerer

“An ilbal is an instrument for seeing, a lens with which to view sacred relationships. In Native cultures it might comprise stories, traditions, ceremonies. Kimmerer suggests that science is the ilbal of modern Western society, through which lens we understand everything from chromosomes to galaxies. Science brings the material world into focus, but it blurs […]

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