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Castaway on the hyperobject: Getting Lost with Timothy Morton

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Ecocritic and philosopher Timothy Morton introduced the term ‘hyperobjects’ in a blog post in March 2010. Morton elaborates on the concept of the hyperobject in the final chapter of The Ecological Thought (2010), and the term supplies the title of his 2014 book Hyperobjects: Philosophy and Ecology after the End of the World. As Morton was articulating the idea of the hyperobject in the spring of 2010, the final season of the television show Lost (2004–10) was dramatizing the climactic instalments of its six-year narrative about a band of castaways stranded on a time-travelling, globe-trotting island, an uncanny object that exemplifies many of the characteristics Morton associates with hyperobjects. In its representation of the island as an inscrutable object punctuated by absence and mystery, in its examination of the dense interconnectedness of its sprawling human cast, and in its thematic emphasis on the epistemological limits that characterize our understanding of the natural world and even of ourselves, Lost not only presents its own version of Morton’s hyperobject but also suggests many of the same conclusions about the way our encounter with hyperobjects reconfigures our self-understanding and our relationship with the non-human world.
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Keywords: Lost; Timothy Morton; ecocriticism; ecology; hyperobject; television

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Goodwin College

Publication date: October 1, 2017

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