In Defence of Roots

While writing a paper on differences between rhizomes and roots, Becoming and Being, horizontality and verticality (etc.), I became aware that Deleuze & Guattari get arborescence all wrong. All that was needed to correct their mistake was a simple walk in the park.

We’re tired of trees. We should stop believing in trees, roots, and radicles. They’ve made us suffer too much. All of arborescent culture is founded on them, from biology to linguistics. Nothing is beautiful or loving or political aside from underground stems and aerial root, adventitious growths and rhizomes (D & G, A Thousand Plateaus: capitalism and schizophrenia)

Compare and contrast this statement with what Michael Marder has to say on roots and trees.

The physical verticality of trees does not mean that they are vertical in the way they live or grow. Trees can branch out in quite unpredictable ways; they can accommodate the grafts of other species; they can give rise to shoots that would survive independently of them; they can change their sexes or become hermaphrodites for a part or for the rest of their lives; and the list goes on. To put it in Heideggerese, trees are ontically vertical and ontologically horizontal. (Michael Marder)

All pictures via The Guardian


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