By Gregory McNamee
Following the version of the medieval Latin bestiaries, Gregory McNamee has written a ebook right now naturalistic, folkloristic, and literary, made from brief essays on forty-three animals of the world’s deserts. those essays speak about the creatures as they're and as they're imagined, and convey their typical lives and histories vividly to the web page.
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Additional resources for A Desert Bestiary: Folklore, Literature, and Ecological Thought from the World's Dry Places
Folklore lives by flourishes of the commonplace. " Bee The year is 1934. The nation stands stock still with terror. America's fright is not the result of the rise of Nazism, not of Stalin's depredations, not even of John Dillinger's widespread rampaging. No, the country lies paralyzed by the fear of Latrodectus mactansthe black widow spider. The previous year had been a wet one, and spiders and the insects they prey on were flourishing. More spiders means more spider bites, and by mid-1934 such journals as Scientific American and Science were warning of the threat black widows posed to humans.
It is no surprise that scholars become addicted to its history and its charm can be felt across seven hundred years of intervening time when one compares it to the centuries before it, with their grim and pessimistic disdain of this world as opposed to the next. This outburst of excitement for natural things was preceded by illustrated manuscripts, verbal folktales, the bestiary itself, the continuing survival of pagan thought in the calendar and astrology. But in spite of all that tenacious feeling for plant and animal lore in older peasant custom, the new atmosphere and sensibility to what animals could mean in the twelfth century suggests a revolution in the perception of nature.
The improved yield may help lower costs and make American honey competitive against Chinese imports, the product of a country with an appalling human-rights record and no modern tradition of industrial quality in any event. Let Africanized bees do their bit to breed better beekeepers in this country, in other words. Leave them alone, and the news stories will be things of the past. "You should be concerned," Dr. Spivak concludes. " What, then, is all the fuss about? For whatever reason, people seem to love a good scare.
A Desert Bestiary: Folklore, Literature, and Ecological Thought from the World's Dry Places by Gregory McNamee