For many stories, death is an inciting incident that forces plot to move forward (looking at you, Game of Thrones). We’re so accustomed to stories where people die, it would seem that animals dying in fiction is barely noticeable, right?...more
Posts Tagged: animals
Over at Lit Hub, Lincoln Michel offers us a wonderful list of books that prominently feature animals in strange and interesting ways. You won’t find Watership Down or Moby-Dick on this list (too obvious!)....more
Can dolphin sonar penetrate the steel hull of a boat—and pinpoint a stilled heart? Can dolphins empathize with human bereavement? Is dolphin society organized enough to permit the formation of a funeral cavalcade?
The New York Review of Books reviews Carl Safina’s Beyond Words: What Animals Think and Feel and explores what, if anything, separates humans from other animals....more
Even the animal kingdom is more progressive than the US. Penguins have been forming same-sex romantic relationships for as long as penguins have existed, and none of their compatriots ever batted a wing. The Dodo looks back at some of the most “aww”-inducing penguin pairs, because why not celebrate love with adorable pictures of birds?...more
I find the threat of predation satisfying in a short story because, when done well, it solicits a visceral reaction. The etymology of the word visceral can be traced to the Latin word viscera, which was used to refer to internal organs; the plural term, viscus, refers to “flesh.” A visceral reaction refers to an instinctual reaction, as opposed to an intellectual reaction.
For me, the perfect metaphor for rethinking our relationship to other species comes in the form of a dog named “Human,”owned and “curated” by French artist Pierre Huyghe, in his retrospective currently on view at LACMA. Ironically enough, such a simple act of naming invites deep rethinking of our own human position in the world.
It’s a trend you may never have noticed, but it exists: “women—attractive, single, childless women—have long been coupled with exotic animals. Gentle women and wild animals are linked in myth and fable, fashion photography and pornography, pulp art and fine art.”
A spellbinding essay by Sasha Archibald for the New Inquiry looks at real-life woman–animal pairings and what society has done with their stories, from Ruth Harkness, who introduced pandas to the West, to Dian Fossey “of Gorillas in the Mist fame,” to SeaWorld trainer Dawn Brancheau....more
The New York Comics & Picture-Story Symposium is a weekly forum for discussing the tradition and future of text/image work....more
Con Slobodchikoff is a word nerd of a different sort than the ones we usually write about on the Rumpus.
After studying prairie dogs for thirty years, he’s concluded that they have a language more complex than humans would ever have imagined....more