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Fly (Reaktion Books - Animal)by Steven Connor
Synopses & Reviews
Few creatures are as universally despised as flies. Blamed for pestilence and plagues, they were publicly excommunicated from the medieval church. Beelzebub, “the lord of the flies,” was said to be the embodiment of evil, and, for centuries, flies were considered the result of spontaneous generation—the unnatural consequence of rotting meat.
Fly explores the history of this much-maligned creature and then turns to examine its newfound redemption through science. The secrets of the flys versatile powers of flight, Steven Connor reveals, are only beginning to be understood and appreciated. Its eyes and wings, for instance, have evolved so perfectly that they provide inspiration for some of todays most daring technological and scientific innovations. And the humble fruit fly, Connor demonstrates, stands at the center of revolutionary advances in genetic research.
Connor delights in tracking his lowly subject through myth, literature, poetry, painting, film, and biology. Humans live in close and intimate quarters with flies, but Fly is the first book to give these common creatures their due.
About the Author
Steven Connor is professor of modern literature and theory in the School of Literature and Humanities at Birkbeck College, University of London. He is the author of many books, including The English Novel in History, James Joyce, and The Book of Skin.
Table of Contents
1. Fly Familiar
2. Musca Maledicta
3. Sticky Fun
4. Orders of Magnitude
5. Fly Wars
6. Mutable Fly
7. Fly Leaves
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