What? John Jeremiah Sullivan’s got a new essay in Lapham’s Quarterly about kitties? I mean, puppies? I mean, about how the hivemind is made of animals, but whether or not they in their hives and broods and packs have minds of their own? … While the final answer to the tricky question of animal minds may not be in that piece, it’s a good read nonetheless. Clarice Lispector, in A Breath of Life, had this to say: “The dog is a mysterious animal because he almost thinks, not to mention that he feels everything except the notion of the future.” Then again, perhaps dogs are another thing all together—think about Virginia Woolf’s novel from the perspective of a dog, Flush. If dogs don’t have minds, how could the woman who managed to explore cognition so artfully have written that book? Or, one of my favourites, J.R. Ackerley’s My Dog Tulip—while that particular pup is not so nearly-thoughtful as Lispector’s fictional pet Ulysses, it speaks to something that we can feel so connected to animals, whose consciousnesses are by design very different from our own.
Oh, and then there’s Colson Whitehead: “I had a cat, the cat died, and now the stuff I used to say to the cat all day, I tweet.”
Stacey May Fowles is both a book and baseball lover, and so is R.A. Dickey, who starts with the Toronto Blue Jays tomorrow. They talked about their shared loves in the National Post this weekend. (Stacey will also be in these pages this week previewing the Jays’ season.)