Thursday, October 23, 2008

Gilgamesh for Apes

lexigram for "Enkidu"

Gilgamesh for Apes (all of it; readable by both humans and great apes)

Primate Poetics:

The question becomes: can the ape move away from primordial wordsoup to the solid state of conventional literature. Great apes do have what it takes to be literati: they have self-awareness and empathy, they can deceive and play roles, they can have pleasure, they can mourn and feel sad and lonely, they have great sense of class dynamics... They have other assets in which they surpass us, like a superb short-term memory and a good ear. In fact apes are already telling stories. Gorilla Michael has given us what his keepers believe to be an account of the death of his mother at the hand of poachers: "Squash meat gorilla. Mouth tooth. Cry sharp-noise loud. Bad think-trouble look-face. Cut/neck lip (girl) hole".

brought to us by Social Fiction (updated Oct. 2008)

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