Geopoetics: Johannes Umbgrove's Cosmic and Aesthetic Science
This chapter traces the origins of geopoetics as a dandy science in the work of Johannes Umbgrove. The chapter shows how Umbgrove developed an aesthetic conception of geologizing and a notion of cosmic and terrestrial evolution. In 1942, Umbgrove developed geopoetics as a way to describe his scientific method that connected the psyche to the galaxy. Earth, mind, and cosmos were structured by polyphonic rhythms and cycles. Geopoetics was not poetry about rocks. This chapter explores how Umbgrove developed geopoetics not only on Javanese volcanoes but also in conversation with orientalists such as Paul Deussen, a friend of Nietzsche's and the translator of the Upanishads. Umbgrove's influence went on to shape the early formulations of the theory of sea floor spreading and plate tectonics in the 1960s. When Umbgrove's geopoetics became plate tectonics, it sought to create a vision of the earth as a system of creative destruction.