This article considers the significance of temporality for the discourses of ecology and posthumanism. Focusing on Goethe's approach to water both in his administrative and in his literary writings, it argues that literary texts provide an opportunity to experiment with forms of stability in continuity, and in this way to rehearse an outlook on the future that meets the demands of sustainability. Based on close readings of Goethe's writings, the article suggests that the need to come to terms with the uncertainty of a very distant future pits formalization and abstraction against concrete narrative imagination, resulting in a tensed relationship between the spatial and temporal dimension of ecology.

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