Daily Archives: December 20, 2010

** Insectopedia by Hugh Raffles

What did I love about Insectopedia? The perfect beginning (“In the beginning…”) The stories about Fabre, the 19th century French scientist who was a hero of my grandfather’s, who himself loved insects, and whose provencal house, pictured in the book, looks just like my brother’s. The stories about malaria that reminded me of The Fever. The stories about training crickets to fight in China and insect collecting mania in Japan, featuring Murasaki of anime fame.

But other entries seemed bizarre, irrelevant, even boring. A very long entry about Nazis comparing Jews and cockroaches.  An entry about pornographic movies featuring women squishing bugs under their shoes (really!) About dead whales. Perhaps I would have been better off to just skip them.

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