Soul Full Words for Soul External

We’re honored that Boria Sax has offered a thoughtful comment on Soul External: Rediscovering the Great Blue Heron: “Derrida famously wrote that one should not use the word ‘animal,’ since, by equating such a large and varied range of beings, the label obscured their particularity. I was disappointed, however, when, immediately after the passage, Derrida went on to use the word almost obsessively, and in extremely vague ways, for the remainder of his essay. Soul External, however, is one book about animals, in which, unless I somehow missed it, the word ‘animal’ does not even come up. Neither do the words ‘human being,’ and the vocabulary of literary theory is also completely absent. This is a prolonged meditation on the relation of the author with the great blue heron, a large bird that nests high in trees above our primeval wetlands. Perhaps Derrida was right, at least in what he said, for author Steven Semken speaks of great themes such as God, death, and magic, while staying focused on one amazing creature, which is not subordinated to any creed or philosophy. The images by Andrew Driscoll blend so harmoniously with the text that it seems inappropriate to speak of them as ‘illustrations.'”