Revetment Running and Econarratological Poetry


In this article, nonhuman poetry is explored. Departing from an autoethnographic project based on audio recordings made while running on revetments, and which  discussed how to give voice to nonhuman actors the possibilities of nonhuman poetry, this text aims at taking it one step further by extracting poetry from the material. Ethnographically, this is discussed in terms of affect, and an 'ethnography to be'. Theoretically, the study has a posthumanist approach, with a specific focus on the econarratology of philosopher Michel Serres. The method and theory are are discussed in tandem in relation to what philospher Peter Sloterdijk has coined 'amphibian anthropology'. By stacking the bracketed words in my transcriptions, four poems emerge in which background sounds, contextual descriptions, corrections and bodily sounds form the content. Each poem is accompanied by a map made from smartphone screenshots. The prose is found to be evocative of the surroundings of the recording, and also resonating with the ideas of human language as derivative of what Serres calls the Great narrative, the story of universe and nature themselves. The proximity to water and rocks discernible in the experiment is seen as a result stemming from practicing the hope-oriented 'ethnography to be'.