Inhabiting the River. Musings on Boulevards and Arteries
This introductory essay revisits the multidimensionality of the river conceived of as a system of "communicating vessels," both literally and metaphorically. Drawing upon fine arts, poetry, biology, and philosophy, the argument organizing this text presents the river as a non-human, albeit often anthropomorphized, subjectivity, and serves to remind the reader of the universality of the neverending flow of essence and thought. Moored to the tides, humankind depends on the flow understood both in terms of the circulation of the ever-changing matter, but also in terms of the circulation of values. A human subject, dependent on other (not necessarily human, and not necessarily animate) subjectivities, recognizing the importance of the river as a living artery and as a principal agent of change, re-discovers the necessity to adopt the position of stewardship rather than that of ownership with respect to the world-in-flux that he or she inhabits.
America; Canada; rivers; St. Laurent River; Robert Charlebois; songs; river as artery
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