Monday, April 9, 2012

Happy Birthday "Eadweard Muybridge, Thief of Animal Souls"

    This morning, while waiting for a meeting in the metropolis, I noticed that it was Eadweard Muybridge's 182nd birthday, certainly an occasion worthy of commemoration.

      Perusing Muybridge-related web pages, I encountered This Article  (link) with the unusual title, "Eadweard Muybridge, Thief of Animal Souls," which was published two years ago in The Chronicle Review - The Chronicle of Higher Education, and seemed a little unusual for that journal.  

  The article is off-beat and the comments that follow are fairly hostile, which adds to its allure.

       I've never seen Muybridge tackled from this angle before, but I'm glad Professor Malamud took on the subject.  His essay is original and stimulating and Muybridge (if you're unfamiliar with his fascinating, somewhat gaudy, biography, you should look him up in an encyclopedia) is no "walk in the park," as they say.  

      But most things, apart from actual walks in the park, derive their interest through other, more imperfect, qualities.


  1. Wow, this is really a great article. I would not have thought of it that way. I mean, just photographing the motion of animals being exploitive--but in the context of the article, it makes sense. It is interesting how our studies of animals have changed what we see and think over the years. I love the respect this author has for the animals.

  2. Hi Nin. I'm glad you liked this. I was surprised to read Prof. Malamud's article, but was very glad to have encountered it for exactly the reasons you did. It was intelligent, original and humane in a way that's so rarely found and which tells to put the inhumanity of others (depressing but worth noting) in high relief. Weird 24-72 hours here. Caroline needed to go into the hospital for emergency surgery (she'd been feeling poorly since Friday night). The whole thing was a mystery, but the result is that the doctors identified and have apparently fixed something that was a chronic problem. I'm grateful, relieved and a complete mess. The latter, being one of my salient qualities, I'm thankful that the first two have also come into play. Curtis

  3. I like your words "Thief of Animal Souls".. Yes, he's a thief and genius :-)

  4. Tentang Kamera: I'm glad you liked this and very glad you visited and thought to let me know. It's a surprising and interesting article, which certainly doesn't repeat observations you've already heard. Please visit again. Curtis