Monday, March 14, 2005

Another book: The Botany of Desire

Must just be luck, but I've been reading some pretty enjoyable stuff recently. Just finished a book called The Botany of Desire: A Plant's-Eye View of the World by Michael Pollan. It introduces four plants that illustrate four different human desires. The plants are apples, tulips, marijuana, and potatoes, and they illustrate desires for sweetness, beauty, intoxication, and control, respectively.

His own love of plants is infectious, and his interpretation of the history of the plants exposes as much about humans' desires, weaknesses and ingenuity as it does about the plants. It is an brilliant roll reversal where we wonder, who is controlling whom.

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