Super lyrical sunshine: playing solar imaginaries in contemporary poetics

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Abstract

This creative-critical article explores intersections of video game environments and lyric modes as the basis for theorising a poetics of 'lyric solarity' in exemplary works by contemporary poets. Lyric solarity is a poetics in which solar imaginaries are linguistically mediated and refracted through the close rhythms, affects, sensoria and arts of noticing found within everyday life. Drawing from Dominic Boyer, Imre Szeman and Rhys Williams' recent work on solarity from the field of petrocultures and the energy humanities, I consider the oil spill aesthetics and solar accumulation of Nintendo's 2002 platform game, Super Mario Sunshine, as the basis for reading tensions of solar totality, infrastructure, singularity and agency in works by Verity Spott, Sean Bonney, Anne Lesley Selcer, Ed Luker and Jos Smith.

This article is a speculative exegesis on the critical, ethical and ecological affordances of lyric solarity, which I examine in dialogue with what Reza Negarestani calls 'the blobjective earth […] nurtured by petropolitics'. While the blobjective offers a limited and often apocalyptic vision of resource conflict, I take up Dominic Boyer and Timothy Morton's notion of 'hyposubjectivity' to show how lyric solarity might offer an expanded and radical horizon for ecological thought. I argue that the infrastructures and relational architectures of lyric solarity, as a continuum of affects, aesthetics and political possibilities, may think beyond the thought-regimes of petro-modernity and towards alternative kinds of postcapitalist and queer desire, play, temporal orientation and abundance.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages27
JournalThe Journal of British and Irish Innovative Poetry
Volume15
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 18 Sept 2023

Keywords

  • solar
  • Super Mario
  • energy humanities
  • Nintendo
  • lyric
  • poetry
  • petropolitics
  • blobjective
  • oil
  • energy aesthetics
  • infrastructure
  • sunlight

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