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Elizabeth Tova Bailey book


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Favorite excerpts, from the book "The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating," by Elizabeth Tova Bailey, enhanced with photography from

The design caught my eye, the typography reeled me in, then the writing ensnared me. Had no idea that snails could make for "can't put it down" reading!

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Elizabeth Tova Bailey book

  1. 1. HOT Tip BEFOREYOU START...if you click on “full size,”you can view the pDF muchlarger, and it will be muchmore readable. You are alsowelcome to download it.So, now, please click here 1026752
  2. 2. A BAkER’S DOzEntwelve, or so, excerpts fromthe book, these are the wordsand ideas that impressedme... 1340057
  3. 3. The first number, belowright, is the i.d. number ofthe background photo, youcan find these at, a terrific web site filledwith images from terrificphotographers who freelyshare their beautiful work.The second number is thepage number where youcan find the quote (in thehardback).You may need to zoomin on the PDF to readthe small numbers. 220233
  4. 4. All statements on thefollowing pages that are notattributed are quoted word-for-word from the book, andthe author: Elizabeth Tova Bailey [ image from dust jacket ] 1026752
  5. 5. When the body is rendereduseless, the mind still runslike a bloodhound alongwell-worn trails of neurons,tracking the echoingquestions: the confusedfamily of whys, whats, andwhens, and their impossiblydistant kin how. 917984 : 5
  6. 6. the snail gets upand goes to bedwith very little fusskobayashi issa1761-1828 1211855 : 9
  7. 7. Whereas the future hadonce beckoned with manyintriguing paths, now therewas just one impossible route.So it was into the past, with itsrich sedimentary layers, thatmy mind would go instead. 1239412 : 11
  8. 8. One evening i put some ofthe withered blossoms inthe dish beneath the pot ofviolets. The snail was made its way down the sideof the pot and investigatedthe offering with great interestand then began to eat one ofthe blossoms. A petal startedto disappear at a barelydiscernible rate. i listenedcarefully. i could hear iteating. 781810 : 12
  9. 9. Each evening the snailawoke and, with anastonishing amount of poise,moved gracefully to therim of the pot and peeredover, surveying, once again,the strange country thatlay ahead. pondering itscircumstances with a regalair, as if from the turret of acastle, it waved its tentaclesfirst this way and then that,as though responding to adistant melody. 1085851
  10. 10. i was a reminder of all theyfeared: chance, uncertainty,loss, and the sharp edge ofmortality. Those of us withillnesses are the holders ofthe silent fears of those withgood health. 1209370 : 39
  11. 11. in the fourth century BC,in the History of Animals,Aristotle noted that snail teethare “sharp and small, anddelicate.” My snail possessedaround 2,640 teeth, so i’dadd the word plentiful toAristotle’s description. 1087055 : 49
  12. 12. While homo sapiens haveinternal mucus, and moreof it than we realize, it’s theextravagant nature of thegastropod to be completelycoated externally. 1147461 : 69
  13. 13. if we Homo Sapiens thoughtwe were in charge of theplanet, here was clearevidence to the contrary.The humble snail and its clanhave a far older, and stickier,foothold on the earth than wemore recent creatures. 1070190:90
  14. 14. The sentence that bestexpresses a snail’s wayof life: “The right thing todo is to do nothing, theplace to do it in a placeof concealment, and thetime to do it is as often aspossible.” Tony Cook, The Biology of Terrestrial Molluscs 1192999:116
  15. 15. What majesty is in a creepingsnail, what reflection, whatearnestness, what timidity,and yet at the same timewhat firm confidence! Surelya snail is an exalted symbolof mind slumbering deeplywithin itself. Lorenz Oken, late 19th century German naturalist 1026752
  16. 16. There are times wheni wished my viral invaderhad claimed me completely.How much better to live anexhuberant life and thenleave as one exits a party,simply opening a door andstepping out. 1075815:131
  17. 17. Humanity is exaltednot because we areso far above otherliving creatures, butbecause knowing themwell elevates the veryconcept of life. Edward O. Wilson, 1984, Biophilia 1034598:159
  18. 18. THE EnDcontact 1265717