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Becoming Animal

An Earthly Cosmology
Paperback Book
Publisher: 
Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
 | 
September, 2011
ISBN:
9780375713699
In stock now: 
2
$18.95 CAD
Banyen's Description: 

David Abram’s The Spell of the Sensuous (1997) has become an ecological classic. In Becoming Animal, he takes us deeper into our “imbeddedness” with the wild, evolving world. He suggests we will not develop those “true” relationships with nature through political strategy, policy initiatives, or technological breakthroughs until we first “apprentice” ourselves to nature. He encourages us to spend less time at our computer screens talking about nature and more time in a dialogue with nature.

As the climate veers toward catastrophe, the innumerable losses cascading through the biosphere make vividly evident the need for a metamorphosis in our relation to the living land. For too long we’ve inured ourselves to the wild intelligence of our muscled flesh, taking our primary truths from technologies that hold the living world at a distance. This book subverts that distance, drawing readers ever deeper into their animal senses in order to explore, from within, the elemental kinship between the body and the breathing Earth.

Owning up to being an animal, a creature of earth. Tuning our animal senses to the sensible terrain: blending our skin with the rain-rippled surface of rivers, mingling our ears with the thunder and the thrumming of frogs, and our eyes with the molten gray sky. Feeling the polyrhythmic pulse of this place—this huge windswept body of water and stone. This vexed being in whose flesh we’re entangled.

Becoming earth. Becoming animal. Becoming, in this manner, fully human.

The shapeshifting of ravens, the erotic nature of gravity, the eloquence of thunder, the pleasures of being edible: all have their place in Abram’s investigation. He shows that from the awakened perspective of the human animal, awareness (or mind) is not an exclusive possession of our species but a lucid quality of the biosphere itself—a quality in which we, along with the oaks and the spiders, steadily participate.

With audacious vision and luminous prose, Becoming Animal sets a new benchmark for the human appraisal of our place in the whole.

Publisher’s Description: 

A PEN/E. O. Wilson Literary Science Writing Award Runner-up

David Abrams first book, The Spell of the Sensuous, hailed as revolutionary by the Los Angeles Times, as daring and truly original by Science, has become a classic of environmental literature. Now he returns with a startling exploration of our human entanglement with the rest of nature.

As the climate veers toward catastrophe, the innumerable losses cascading through the biosphere make vividly evident the need for a metamorphosis in our relation to the living land. For too long weve ignored the wild intelligence of our bodies, taking our primary truths from technologies that hold the living world at a distance. Abrams writing subverts this distance, drawing readers ever closer to their animal senses in order to explore, from within, the elemental kinship between the human body and the breathing Earth. The shape-shifting of ravens, the erotic nature of gravity, the eloquence of thunder, the pleasures of being edible: all have their place in this book.

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