In his article "A Comparative Literary History of Resurrection Plants" John Charles Ryan assembles a comparative history of resurrection plants through textual analysis of early botanical commentaries, herbal references, prose, poetry, and other sources. Resurrection plants include a diverse range of botanical species, typically of arid regions, that appear to come back to life after complete desiccation. Historical and contemporary observers—from sixteenth-century herbalist John Gerard to contemporary Australian poet John Kinsella—have expressed an abiding fascination for resurrection plants' capacity to survive harsh environmental conditions. The plants court their own deaths by paring down—then restoring—physiological processes in relation to shifting ecological circumstances. While researchers over the years have attempted to reveal the mechanisms involved, the uncanny adaptations of resurrection plants remain a wonder and source of inspiration for scientists, humanists, and artists alike. Drawing from recent concepts in the field of "critical plant studies," this article concludes by asserting that listening to the lessons of plants is essential to reimagining an ethical and sustainable future. In the present era of rapid species loss worldwide, resurrection plants offer messages of hope and renewal to societies struggling to devise ways to live sustainably with the biosphere.
Ryan, John Charles
"A Comparative History of Resurrection Plants."
CLCWeb: Comparative Literature and Culture
This text has been double-blind peer reviewed by 2+1 experts in the field.
The above text, published by Purdue University Press ©Purdue University, has been downloaded 998 times as of 07/10/18.
American Studies Commons, Comparative Literature Commons, Education Commons, European Languages and Societies Commons, Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Commons, Other Arts and Humanities Commons, Other Film and Media Studies Commons, Reading and Language Commons, Rhetoric and Composition Commons, Social and Behavioral Sciences Commons, Television Commons, Theatre and Performance Studies Commons