A searching, captivating look at the persistence of myth in our modern world
“By nature volatile and discordant, the human animal looks to silence for relief from being itself while other creatures enjoy silence as their birthright.”
In a book by turns chilling and beautiful, John Gray continues the thinking that made his Straw Dogs such a cult classic.
Gray draws on an extraordinary array of memoirs, poems, fiction, and philosophy to re-imagine our place in the world. Writers as varied as Ballard, Borges, Conrad, and Freud have been mesmerized by forms of human extremity—experiences that are on the outer edge of the possible or that tip into fantasy and myth. What happens to us when we starve, when we fight, when we are imprisoned? And how do our imaginations leap into worlds way beyond our real experiences?
The Silence of Animals is consistently fascinating, filled with unforgettable images and a delight in the conundrum of human existence—an existence that we decorate with countless myths and ideas, where we twist and turn to avoid acknowledging that we too are animals, separated from the others perhaps only by our self-conceit. In the Babel we have created for ourselves, it is the silence of animals that both reproaches and bewitches us.