‘On Animals and the Human Spirit’ via @LARB

by Allison Hawthorne Deming // Milkweed Editions, 10.01.2014.

 

Los Angeles Review of Books on Alison Hawthorne Deming’s Zoologies: On Animals and the Human Spirit:

“…Deming loves the interrogative mood. It’s one way she deepens the meaning of her essays. Questions allow her to imagine historical events: “What bird sang on this stream bank at dawn and dusk in those years when hunters flensed meat from gigantic bones and hung it over pine rails to dry?” Questions guide her into scientific lines of inquiry: “Why do some animals mate for life?” Questions frame moral issues: “Is it ethical to ask animals to grow organs for human transplantation?” And questions move the concrete to the metaphorical. In a chapter on ants, they lead to queries about art: “Why is it that the arrangement of the petals is so symmetrical? The pattern of cone building repeated with such precise craft?” Deming’s questions — and there are dozens of them throughout the book — remind us just how full of wonder humans are about the world, about themselves, about animals, about the intricacies of language.” — D.J. Lee, Los Angeles Review of Books

Check out the the rest at LARB.

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