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The fauna factor

Books | December 2017

Animals Strike Curious Poses By Elena Passarell

Jonathan Cape £12.99 Oldie price £11.56 inc p&p Modern nature writing in English generally falls into one or more of four overlapping classes. There are the sermonisers, who thunder apocalyptically about the consequences of our alienation from the natural world; the redeemed, who have thrown off their suits, sold their BMWs, and gone to a wood; there to find, epiphanically, the ground of their being. There are the lyrical sensitives, who go to the wood, say how lovely it is, and write longingly and despairingly about the loss of Eden, the lost possibility of talking meaningfully to daisies, and about their own echoing dispossession. And there are the colonials, who use the wood as a stage on which to make their own speeches, and use the creatures of the wood as props. They all have in common interconnectedness: the notion that we are part of the natural world; defined by...

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