Becoming Animal: An Earthly Cosmology
David Abram’s 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 Abram 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...more
More lists with this book...
If people took the science about climate change seriously, gas station attendants would turn off the pumps. Coal miners would put coal back in the ground — with shovels. The National Guard would occupy the refineries, confiscate the tankers and shut down the pipelines.
It would be an international state of emergency, with a response beyond any emergency mobilization we have had to muster before. Never before has the threat been so great, no ...more
It took ...more
David Abram asks us to reconsider how we see the world.. He asks us to look, hear, smell, and taste what is around us. What is truly aware, and truly awake. What can hear us? What knows we are there? Which fauna and much crazier, which flora. This book, becoming animal, is strange in its ability to reinvoragte certa ...more
Unfortunately, I first picked it up in the fall, and found the first fifty pages a tough slog. Where was the evidence, the statistics, the science? There is none, of course; this is a book of moral and environmental philosophy, and more of the felt-truth flavour than the chain-of-logic variety.
I had much better luck with it when I picked it up after a full day of hiking and gardening, with the dirt still under my fingernails and the songs of bird ...more
We have drank from the same wells. We have both admired Merleau-Ponty, wrestled with Deleuze, and for both of us, our first love was the pure reverie of the natural world. We both admire how indigenous societies were able, through close interactions with the patterns of nature, able to form coherent knowledge systems that were anathema to 1 ...more
- Laboured, purple prose that obscured meaning
- Anti-science rhetoric
- Anti-literature rhetoric
- Opinions stated as facts
- Self-indulgent smugness
Whereas his first book, The Spell of the Sensuous traced the history of writing—specifically of the alphabet—and its consequences to our consciousness, perception, and civilization, this shapeshifter of a book, with its poetry, insight, and sensibility that goes beyond binaries, explores our embodied existence in all its inextricable entanglements with the rest of nature we are part of. In the process, David Abram enacts the exact kind of language—alb ...more
I agree with the author that developing a new relationship with one's place is vital -- an inevitable, given the progress we're making in destroying the ec ...more
This isn't a book to rush though. Probably most of the time I spent with this book, I spent reflecting on each passage, going on short walks between chapters, and observing the nature around me as I read outside. The writing style in this book is an embodiment of his message about human nature, it flows poetically, yet everything is well placed.
At first, I was surprised that this book wasn't a strict archeological/biologica ...more