A Fairytale in Question: Historical Interactions Between Humans and Wolves

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Patrick Masius, Jana Sprenger
White Horse Press, 2015 - Literary Criticism - 318 pages
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A COLLECTION OF ESSAYS PLACING THE HUMAN-WOLF RELATIONSHIP IN HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE International in range and chronological in organisation, this volume aims to grasp the maincurrents of thought about interactions with the wolf in modern history. It focuses on perceptions, interactions and dependencies, and includes cultural and social analyses as well as biological aspects. Wolves have been feared and admired, hunted and cared for. At the same historical moment, different cultural and social groups have upheld widely diverging ideas about the wolf. Fundamental dichotomies in modern history, between nature and culture, wilderness and civilisation and danger and security, have been portrayed in terms of wolf-human relationships. The wolf has been part of aesthetic, economic, political, psychological and cultural reasoning albeit it is nowadays mainly addressed as an object of wildlife management. There has been a major shift in perception from dangerous predator to endangered species, but the big bad fairytale wolf remains a cultural icon. This volume roots study of human-wolf relationships coherently within the disciplines of environmental and animal history for the first time.

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