Anguish, by August Friedrich Albrecht Schenck, c. 1878. National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne.


Volume VI, Number 2 | spring 2013


Man and Beast

By Lewis H. Lapham

Michel de Montaigne once considered, “When I play with my cat, who knows if I am not a pastime for her more than she is to me?”



“My music is best understood by animals and children,” Igor Stravinsky said in 1961. Over two millennia earlier, Aristotle had counseled in The Politics that young men ought to attain a musical sophistication with “a capacity for enjoying noble melodies and rhythms and not merely that general effect of music which is enjoyed by some of the lower animals, as well as by a number of slaves and children.” 

Men, my dear, are very queer animals—a mixture of horse nervousness, ass stubbornness, and camel malice.

—T. H. Huxley, 1895