Being a Beast
by Charles Foster
Editor: Profile Books Ltd
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Charles Foster wanted to know what it was like to be a beast: a badger, an otter, a deer, a fox, a martinetWhat he really wasAnd through the knowledge of what it was like he wanted to come down and grapple with the beast in all of usSo he tried to get out; he lived his life as a badger for six weeks, sleeping in the dirt hole and eating earthworms, he found himself face to face with shrimp as he lived as an otter and he spent hours curled up in a garden behind East London and rooted in the bins as an urban foxA passionate naturalist, Favoriser realizes that every creature creates a different world in its brain and lives in this worldAs humans, we share sensory outings, lights, smells and sounds, but trying to explore what it really is to live in another of these worlds, belonging to another species, is a fascinating and unique neuroscientific challenge.For the reception it is also a literary challengeBy looking at what science can tell us about what happens in a fox or badger’s brain when he takes a scent, then he uses it to imagine their world for us, writing through their eyes, or rather through Charles’ eyes the beastAn intimate look at animal life, neuroscience, psychology, the nature of writing, memory and more, it’s an extraordinary journey of thrills and surprises, containing wonderful moments of humour and joy, but also providing important lessons for all of us who share life on this precious planet
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