Thursday, April 11, 2013

John Gray - The Silence of Animals: On Progress and Other Modern Myths

From The RSA, British philosopher John Gray discusses his newest book, The Silence of Animals. This is a shorter video of the event - but there is a link below to the whole talk, including audience questions.

Here is a brief summary of the book from Amazon:
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 reimagine our place in the world. Writers as varied as Ballard, Borges, Freud, and Conrad have been mesmerized by forms of human extremity—experiences 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 experience?

The Silence of Animals is consistently fascinating, filled with unforgettable images and a delight in the conundrum of our 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.
And now, our feature presentation . . . .

The Silence of Animals: On progress and other modern myths

Published on Apr 9, 2013

John Gray, one of Britain's most provocative and stimulating philosophers, visits the RSA to discuss the ideas raised in The Silence of Animals - the much-anticipated sequel to the best-selling Straw Dogs: Thoughts on Humans and Other Animals.

Chair: Jonathan Derbyshire, culture editor, New Statesman

Listen to the podcast of the full event including audience Q&A.

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