Enclosure follows on the completion of my book, The Absent Hand, which is about the experience we are all having of transition between eras—out of the old industrial age and into an age as yet not satisfactorily named. It’s a transition that has infiltrated the most intimate areas of our lives while also shifting culture on a panoramic scale. But I stayed close to the ground in The Absent Hand, finding my entry point into this large subject in the place and landscape, and how those have changed in meaning. I call this blog Enclosure because planetary containment, whether by climate change or digital technology--by both terrors and marvels--became, for me, the hallmark of our time.
I have adopted the old mode of the letter here. What I loved about letters was that in them all kinds of matters could be broached without transitional ceremony. You could be cosmic then gossipy as the turn of thought required. Letters were addressed to one person, and yet, once you put pen to paper you were, in a way, in the realm of society. The blog is similarly hospitable to variety, casual, yet capable of gravity too, intimate and public at the same time. Like a letter, it invites response. Among other subjects likely to appear here are the relationship between men and women, the writing process, and the startling perspective gained with aging, all of which, of course, are affected by our state of enclosure and a part of that experience too.