Friday, October 26, 2007

Melancholia's Dog

Last year, a friend from graduate school, Alice Kuzniar, published a book she called Melancholia's Dog: Reflections on Our Animal Kinship .

The University of Chicago Press, Kuzniar's publisher, notes that "Dog love can be a precious but melancholy thing. . . . In addition to philosophy and psychoanalysis, Alice A. Kuzniar turns to the insights and images offered by the literary and visual arts—the short stories of Ivan Turgenev and Franz Kafka, the novels of J. M. Coetzee and Rebecca Brown, the photography of Sally Mann and William Wegman, and the artwork of David Hockney and Sue Coe."

In short, this is an interdisciplinary book, its author driven by topical necessity to draw on what the U of C Press lists as its fields:
  • ART: Art--General Studies
  • BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES: Natural History
  • LITERATURE AND LITERARY CRITICISM: General Criticism and Critical Theory
  • PHILOSOPHY: General Philosophy
In the context of Albrecht Durer's etching "Melancholia," Alice probes connections between human depression and the dogs that accompany and cause and ameliorate depression.

The book is (also) autobiographical, as any of Alice's whippets could tell you. Take a look.

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