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Other titles in the Animal series:
Duck (Reaktion Books - Animal)by Victoria De Rijke
Synopses & Reviews
The squat, noisy duck occupies a prominent role in the human cultural imagination, as evidenced by everything from the rubber duck of childhood baths to insurance commercials. With Duck, Victoria de Rijke explores the universality of this quacking bird through the course of human culture and history.
From the Eider duck to the Brazilian teal to the familiar mallard, duck species are richly diverse, and de Rijke offers a comprehensive overview of their evolutionary history. She explores the numerous roles that the duck plays in literature, art, and religion—including the Hebrew belief that ducks represent immortality, and the Finnish myth that the universe was hatched from a ducks egg. The author also highlights the significant role humor has always played in human imaginings of duck life, such as the Topographia Hibernia, a twelfth-century tome contending that ducks originated as growths on tree trunks washed up on a beach. But the book does not neglect the birds role in everyday life as well, from food dishes to jokes to beloved animated characters such as Daffy Duck and Donald Duck. Duck is an entertaining account of a bird whose distinctive silhouette is known the world over.
About the Author
Victoria de Rijke is principal lecturer at Middlesex University and director of the CD-ROM and website “The Quack-project.” She is also author of Nose Book: Representations of the Nose in Arts and Literature.
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