American Wildlife in Symbol and Story
- Author(s): Gillespie, Angus K., and Jay Mechling, eds.
- Imprint: Univ Tennessee Press
- Publication Date: 0000-00-00
- Status: Active
- Available in Paper: Price $22.50 | Buy Now
Seven folklorists demonstrate how Americans use distinctively American wild animals to express national attitudes about such crucial matters as politics, race, gender, sex, and danger.
The seven folklorists in this volume examine the symbolic use of one animal (turkey, rattlesnake, alligator, armadillo, bear, fox, or coyote), drawing on sources from Chaucer to early colonial texts.
The seven folklorists in this volume examine the turkey, rattlesnake, alligator, armadillo, bear, fox, and coyote, and explore the social and psychological meanings they hold for Americans.
“If there were such a thing as a cornucopia of American wild animals, this would be one. This is the best blend of folk and popular culture scholarship I have seen in a long time.” –Roger D. Abrahams, University of Pennsylvania
“Amusing beasts dive, pounce, strut, waddle, slither, slide, lurk, slink, and crouch, glaring at the reader in many dreadful poses, making the most dangerous denizens of the wilds into animals ‘good to think.'” –Roger D. Abrahams, University of Pennsylvania
“Something akin to Richard M. Dorson’s Man and Beast in American Comic Legend (1982), this wonderful collection considers in individual essays how human folk, both at home and abroad, have viewed seven ‘distinctively American’ critters–the turkey, rattlesnake, alligator, armadillo, bear, fox, and coyote.”–Nineteenth-Century Literature
“This book is full of humor and charm, despite an occasional patch of straw-footed exposition.” –Will Baker, San Francisco Chronicle
“Very lively pieces. Bear shamans, curiosity and foxes, coyotes in poems, fabulous armadillos, rattlesnakes as symbols of ourselves. Good Research. Vivid.”–The Book Reader