Animals Strike Curious Poses - Elena Passarello

Staff Pick

Passarello’s modern bestiary is a striking mélange of natural history, history, and linguistic bravado. She was inspired by a childhood full of representations of different creatures but bereft of the real thing to “try… to explain what happens when I look at animals.” Richly informed by folklore, literature, and science, she imagines the last hours of a woolly mammoth frozen in Yukagir, surveys the images of rhinos by artists from Durer to Dali, recounts Mozart’s collaboration with a starling, lays out the extraordinary physiology of the equine eye, explains how a spider spins a web—both on Earth and in the microgravity of Skylab, and turns in a bravura lyric performance à la Christopher Smart. Delightful as Passarello’s essays are, not all are happy. Elephants, especially, have suffered grievously at human hands. To remind us of all that’s been lost, Passarello commemorates the known “endlings”: individuals who were the last of their kind. And while cloning is perhaps a way to save some species, it’s difficult to get it right. Lungs seem to be the weak link, as if our science stops at “the breath of life.”

Animals Strike Curious Poses Cover Image
ISBN: 9781941411391
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: Sarabande Books - February 28th, 2017

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