Editorial

  •  El transcurso de la vida, Alejandra España. Tinta sobre papel, 2006.  

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This issue of Párrafo brings together texts and images that offer distinct visions of animals: visions that seek in them other ways of inhabiting the world; visions that present them as part of everyday life; as captives and sufferers or loyal companions; visions, in sum, that bestow upon them our own nature, our aspirations and our weaknesses.

The motley zoology found in these pages is also an example of that diversity. This Párrafo speaks of lions and refined perenquenques, of hares and horses with wings, of praying mantises and flying fish, of lice and mermaids. Of dogs, pelicans, ravens, bees, slugs, elephants, bears, opossum, tortoises, orangutans, cats, flies, grey-hounds, starlings, wolves, monkeys, deer, donkeys, owls, jaguars, rats, hippopotami, llamas, roosters, ants, snails, cows, salamanders.

What unites this marvelous fauna is the attempt to reenact a gesture: in 1911 Kafka visited the Berlin aquarium, he stopped in front of the lighted fish tank and, as if he did not want anyone to hear him, he said to them: “Now I can look upon you without shame.” To look in peace, to look with dignity, without affectation or sentimentalism. That is what we try to do in this Issue. In spite of it all, we still ask ourselves if art and writing can reproduce that way of looking. Is there not a residue of shame in any pretense of representing the animal?