Animal use

Yann Martel on symbolic potential.

 As an author, why animals?
They work for me. I find animals useful to tell my stories. Their symbolic potential strikes me as both deep and wide. An animal can be itself — just a monkey next to a tree, just a tiger in a lifeboat — and it can be something else. And as I say in the novel, we are cynical about our own species but less so about wild animals. That openness to animals makes my task as a storyteller easier. I also like using animals because of the pleasant feeling that I’m not crowded in my field; so few other writers of adult fiction care to use animals.


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