Darwin Loves You: Natural Selection and the Re-Enchantment of the World

By George Levine | Go to book overview

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

It is hard to think of the world as disenchanted and barren of value when I consider how many remarkable people have mattered to me along the way to this book. I am particularly grateful to Suzy Anger, once more, for advice and support and criticism of my ideas; to Paul Meyer, my dear friend and birding companion, who knows what it is to feel the wonders of nature and birds, who encourages me to think aloud about Darwin, and who cares; to Jim Moore, whose astonishing encyclopedic knowledge of Darwin has frightened me often—if, perhaps, not enough— out of merely sentimental positions and pushed me to more rigorous understanding; to Christopher Herbert, a dogged and brilliant relativist, who knows and loves Victorian literature but, yet better, has come to love the birds, too; to Joe Vining, for whom enchantment, I believe, is still far the other side of Darwin; to the extraordinary and brilliant friends I made during my fellowship at the Bogliasco Foundation where I began putting this book together: Gino Segré, polymath and physicist of distinction; Bettina Hoerlin, who climbs the longest flights of steps unwearyingly and knows the value of irony; Kathryn Davis, who writes like an angel; Eric Zencey, who moves from science to feeling and back with remarkable sensitivity; Anne-Marie Baron, who shops around the world with the skill she applies to Balzac and to the cinema; Martin Bresnick, landsman from the Bronx, composer extraordinaire, and ciambellista without peer; Lisa Moore, whose genius at the piano leaves me breathless and enchanted; Jenny Jones, who allowed me to share both her glorious discovery of an upupa outside her studio window and her imaginative and witty art as well; and Alan Rowlin of the Bogliasco Foundation, whose generosity gives friendship a good name. I want to give my thanks as well to the Bogliasco Foundation itself, for giving me the time, the space, and the Italian air and gardens for work on this book. In addition, other friends have been extremely impor-

-xxv-

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Darwin Loves You: Natural Selection and the Re-Enchantment of the World
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Preface ix
  • Acknowledgments xxv
  • Chapter 1 - Secular Re-Enchantment 1
  • Chapter 2 - The Disenchanting Darwin 45
  • Chapter 3 - Using Darwin 73
  • Chapter 4 - Amodern Use Sociobiology 93
  • Chapter 5 - Darwin and Pain: Why Science Made Shakespeare Nauseating 129
  • Chapter 6 - “and If It Be a Pretty Woman All the Better” Darwin and Sexual Selection 169
  • Chapter 7 - A Kinder, Gentler, Darwin 202
  • Epilogue: What Does It Mean? 252
  • Notes 275
  • Index 297
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