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Fox (Reaktion Books - Animal) [Paperback]

Our Price $ 16.96  
Retail Value $ 19.95  
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Item Number 303907  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   206
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 0.5" Width: 5.25" Height: 7.25"
Weight:   0.8 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Dec 15, 2006
Publisher   Reaktion Books
ISBN  1861892977  
EAN  9781861892973  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...
We know very little about the fox and its habits—and our ignorance, Martin Wallen argues, is rooted in the fox's bad reputation. Lowly, sly, and classified as vermin, foxes raid henhouses and garbage bins, spread disease, and injure domestic pets. At the same time, foxes are often considered beautiful, mysterious, and even oddly human. This book is the first to fully explore the fox as the object of both derision and fascination, from the forests of North America to the deserts of Africa to the Arctic tundra.

Whether portrayed as an unrepentant thief, a shape-shifter, or an outlaw, the fox's primary purpose in literature, Wallen demonstrates, is to disrupt human order. In Chinese folklore, for example, the fox becomes a cunning mistress, luring human men away from their wives. Wallen also discusses the numerous ways in which fox-related terms have entered the vernacular, from “foxy lady” to the process of “foxing,” or souring beer during fermentation. Thoughtful and illuminating, Fox shows that this lovely creature is as beguiling as it is controversial.

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More About Martin Wallen

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Martin Wallen is professor of English at Oklahoma State University. He is the author of Coleridge s "Ancient Mariner": An Experimental Edition of TextsandRevisions and City of Health, Fields of Disease: Revolution in the Poetry, Medicine, and Philosophy of Romanticism."

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
Fascinating Exploration of the Fox in Human Culture  Jun 28, 2008
Throughout Martin Wallen's book, "Fox," the author demonstrates how the fox has long been viewed by humans as an ambiguous creature living on the boundaries of civilized society. Just as a fox evades capture in the hunting field through its wit and cleverness, the fox also escapes simple definition.

Each of the six chapters reads as an individual essay. The opening chapter deals with efforts to classify the fox over time, beginning with the philosopher Aristotle, who believed foxes to be literally made of earth. Many creatures throughout the world share the name and the general appearance of "fox" - from the Arctic fox to the South American culpeo to the African fennec - but vary greatly in behavior and habitat.
Another chapter explores the fox in legend and myth in both Western and Eastern cultures. In Western thought, the fox is often a malevolent being, both trickster and thief living on the edges of society. Wallen recounts the fox in Aesop's Fables, the Reynard legend from medieval France, and early Christian and medieval depictions of the fox as the devil in disguise. The legend of the kitsune, or spirit fox, migrated to medieval Japan from China, and kitsune possess the ability to shapeshift into human form, thus crossing the boundaries between man and animal and the spirit and material worlds. Subsequent chapters deal with the topics of foxhunting, the commercial fur industry, and the metaphor of the fox in twentieth-century cinema.

In his chapter on foxhunting, Wallen traces the evolution of the sport and the way it was portrayed in English art and literature. While eighteenth century depictions emphasized the violent death of the fox, emphasis shifted over time until the pageantry and rules of the sport became more important than the actual capture and death of the animal.

Martin Wallen's carefully-crafted book gives readers an appreciation of this mysterious animal that has excited human imagination.
Great book!  Jul 11, 2007
An easy read filled with lots of interesting facts about foxes! For a Fox lover this is a must read.

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