Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Shell game

Fifty-one years ago, a traveling circus performed at the new zoo in Changsha, the capital of Hunan Province in southern China. For a cash payment, the circus left behind a large female turtle. Zookeepers slipped the turtle into a large pond, where for a half-century it hibernated in winters and poked its pig-like snout above the water’s surface every spring. The walls of the zoo became the equivalent of a time capsule. —"China's Turtles, Emblems of a Crisis," NYT

Are there any novels narrated by turtles?

I was reminded of this.

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Blogger Dewey Dell said...

Well there's Verlyn Klinkenborg's Timothy, or Notes of an Abject Reptile narrated by Timothy the Tortise.

12:42 PM  
Blogger Levi Stahl said...

My complaint about Timothy, though there was much to enjoy about it, was that the voice never (I can't believe I'm even typing this) really felt like what I'd imagine a turtle's voice would be. I never had any moments like I felt when reading Watership Down, that I'd been temporarily granted access to an unexpected way of looking at the world.

9:48 PM  
Blogger Levi Stahl said...

Which I guess means that I'm still hoping someone will write The Great American Novel Narrated by a Turtle someday.

9:49 PM  
Blogger Ed said...

I think it would be funny if someone posted something here and signed it "Yertl."

10:32 PM  

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