Yuliya Komska

  • Ruben Suryaninov, Soviet Union propaganda poster, 1959.

    PALM READING

    YES, WORDS MATTER. In the physical world, they can be our headlamps in the tunnel of the Anthropocene, our stepping-stones in the quagmire of politics. Think of the neologisms—tierratrauma, solastalgia, nausirage—that philosophers Glenn Albrecht and Ginny Battson have coined for today’s human condition. Or of the dictionaries that have guided the #resistance. Or of how awareness of dog whistles and racist tropes has made it easier to call out right-wingers.

    But what if words have come to matter too much, the almost exclusive fixation on them stunting our understanding of language in its fullest