From The Xenotext

Authored by: Christian Bök

The Routledge Companion to the Environmental Humanities

Print publication date:  January  2017
Online publication date:  January  2017

Print ISBN: 9781138786745
eBook ISBN: 9781315766355
Adobe ISBN: 9781317660194

10.4324/9781315766355.ch37

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Abstract

Editorial note: “Phage φX174” and “The Dire Seed” are excerpts from The Xenotext, an ongoing project by the poet Christian Bök. For the last fifteen years, Bök has been working with geneticists to engineer an extremophile bacterium (Deinococcus radiodurans) so that its DNA might both encode a poem and prompt the bacterium to produce a benign protein, whose amino acids also encode a poem in response. We include these excerpts here as examples of a project that fuses literature and science with implications for how we might understand humanity, art, and inhuman forms of life.

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