On whales, water, and transformation with writer Philip Hoare on AEWCH 164!

22 Sep

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I’m so happy I got to talk about animals at length on the show, given their importance in my life. And one of the best people to have a conversation about animals with is undoubtably Philip Hoare , an interdisciplinary writer and artist, whose books include his moving and almost unclassifiable memoir/nature writing/philosophy book, Risingtidefallingstar: In Search of the Soul of the Sea, his recent book about the evolution of art and how we think of animal, Albert and the Whale: Albrecht Dürer and How Art Imagines Our World, and what is probably his most famous book, The Whale: In Search of the Giants of the Sea , which weaves together beautiful passages on cetaceans and images of whales in popular culture, particularly in the work of Herman Melville.

This was a beautiful and moving discussion for me, I hope it will be for you, too.



• For more on Phil, visit his website. Here’s a short video of director John Waters praising Phil’s book, The Sea Inside. He curated (along with artist Angela Cockayne) The Moby Dick Big Read – where actors (including Tilda Swinton!) and other artists read Moby Dick chapter by chapter. And here’s Philip’s short film about poet Wilfred Owen, I Was A Dark Star Always.

• I wrote about the new rhythms of lockdown – including the new rhythms that the animals are experiencing – for the Irish Times.

• And AEWCH 155 is all about extinction, from an occult perspective.

The Natural History Museum in Dublin (AKA “the dead zoo”) is a great and morbid and wonderful place.

• Here’s a short article with a nice little video about Dublin’s Forty Foot – where you jump off the rocks into the green-blue water. And below is a photo of Irish writer Brendan Behan getting out of that same water.

• Here’s a bit on selkies – seal fairies that shed their skin to walk around in human form.

• I’ve been working on utopia with my friend Una Mullally, who appeared on AEWCH 151 and AEWCH 87.

• I’m still so taken by Phil’s statement in this interview: “I could list all those things (that hurt me most about the way we treat the ocean) here but I’d rather anyone reading this went out to their nearest water and prayed.”

Until next time, friends,

PS: Here’s Phil looking through a whale’s eye.

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