The Book of Were
The medieval church fixed man on a balance beam between angel and animal. WereBook proposes that at present our scale makes us the center, and the animal shifts between adoration and veneration at one end, and contempt to extinction at the other.
Publisher Tim Inkster proposed to poet Wayne Clifford a bestiary based on old engravings, and the poet responded with verses that seem perhaps at first simplistic, but ask the reader to question deeper the relationships between creatures and humankind.
So. A Were-Book tells us about were-animals or were-folk, changlings at the edges of those stable and self-congratulatory worlds connected directly to Platonic forms. The fox in Japan is a powerful, unfriendly figure, but follows a version of human culture, in some tales playing music on local instruments. The Medusa in Greek gossip had immortal sisters, but a human enough face. An African frog becomes a model for our mutation experiments. O, Moreau, we hardly knew! A state of Were is where the worlds seethe still truly wild, the garden in which the ancestors stroll with the conversant god, and good and evil are being decided in the manner of a family living out its most ordinary conflicts.
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