The Lost Tin Myth
July 1, 2008
Jul 1, 2008
You come ashore to sight of castings,
an engine house, the far-off silhouettes
of fieldwork and minehaul. The sound
of this island is assembly, manufacture
knolled into landscape. You breathe
in air and taste ore. If you expected
welcome, you were mistaken.
What you know of this place—hills
the beaten texture of worked metal,
a winter the white silver of tin
won from cassiterite—are the elements
of something approaching myth.
The trick by which an island disappears
is not through a trapdoor in a metaphor
of the cardboard theatre of the world,
is not the shift of tectonic plates:
the island becomes the tale of island;
its inhabitants, figures of inhabitants.
While we have you...
...we need your help. Confronting the many challenges of COVID-19—from the medical to the economic, the social to the political—demands all the moral and deliberative clarity we can muster. In Thinking in a Pandemic, we’ve organized the latest arguments from doctors and epidemiologists, philosophers and economists, legal scholars and historians, activists and citizens, as they think not just through this moment but beyond it. While much remains uncertain, Boston Review’s responsibility to public reason is sure. That’s why you’ll never see a paywall or ads. It also means that we rely on you, our readers, for support. If you like what you read here, pledge your contribution to keep it free for everyone by making a tax-deductible donation.
July 01, 2008