Sunday, April 3, 2011


To stave off death and embrace eternity may seem the domain of Egyptian Pharaohs,  certain Capucchin monks,  and movie vampires,  but a 19th century craze for the myriad mysteries of all nature's creatures led to the development and perfection of the process we commonly refer to as taxidermy.  Keep in mind that its beginnings weren't stimulated by an expansive internet,  but by limited edition books containing starkly beautiful engravings that quickly tantilised  naturalists and slowly made their way to laymen.  Hmmm... so that's what a narwhal looks like?  Let's stuff one!  Here lies the genesis of our many museums of natural history filled with glass-eyed animals fixed in grassy dioramas complete with painted perspectives. While I've collected unusually large insects from Costa Rica,  the occasional turtle or turtle shell,  and seemingly domesticated frogs (a craze in France for a short time) performing household chores,  entertaining "friends"  or firing rifles,  I'm still on the prowl for small taxidermal moments.  But why are some of us atttracted to these reconstructed moments and lives?  I guess the answer lies somewhere between extensive psychotherapy,  past drug intake,  and weird spiritual awakenings... wonderful!

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