We love to be terrified and Dinosaurs somehow manage to do that, unless of course it is Dino out of the Flintstones, a dinosaur that everyone simply loves. The reality is entirely something different and as you work your way through this fascinating work, Dinomania by Boria Sax you will come to understand why these amazingly enormous, well in most cases, Dinosaur are loved and mostly respected.
They, like many species gone before have a certain amount of folkloric associated with them, even to the point where the mystical dragon could very easily have been a dinosaur that somehow acquired magical, or not so magical, powers or maybe even dragons becoming dinosaurs or visa versa!
But what is it many ages later that sees these incredible creatures forming what Sax refers to as ‘an unlikely romance’ in a new generation?
When dinosaur bones where first discovered at the turn of the nineteenth century, the dawning of a new scientific awareness began, offering a very different perspective on geological time and a slowly dawning concept that we as a human race, could also, in times still far distant, become extinct!
Each of the chapters that make up Dinomania have been well researched and are complied with a very comfortable use of language, allowing this intricate and vast work to have very broad appeal. Sax looks at areas such as How Dragons Became Dinosaurs in which many questions are posed and many answers discovered.
He investigates the ingrained tales in many cultures relating to these mystical creatures such as St George and the Dragon, the serpent or water dragon found in ancient Egyptian motifs, what makes up Milton’s hypothesis for Paradise Lost and in later years, the romantic era that turned irregular siting’s of geological formations into creatures such as Nessie, which also raised the issue of ‘Deep Time’, or ‘linear time’ which must be considered when trying to date the age of the Dinosaur.
The Dinosaur renaissance began with the Americans and there ‘mesmeric sense of their mission as leaders of the free world’. A growing sense of frustration was soon to follow this euphoria and it could be considered the popular TV series The Flintstones is in reality a tilt at the ever-growing commercialism and automation of the 1950’s and 1960’s.
Hollywood came to the fore with a range of various movies designed to strike terror into the hearts of moviegoers everywhere, with The Ghost of Slumber Mountain in 1918 through to Jurassic Park filmed in 1993. An absolute plethora of literature taps into the vast imaginary and real store house of dinosaur-abilia to enchant, intrigue and terrify.
Of course, there is the scientific aspect that over the past 100 years or more is still able to have Palaeontologists revisiting and reviewing their past findings, as new sites and skeletal deposits are revealed.
A treasure trove of photographs, illustration and graphics accompany the text, adding a very unique element to the subject matter, that regardless of which century it is present in still enchants’ and captivates.
Boria Sax concludes this collection of scientific fact and cultural trends with a lovely philosophical chapter rounding out a wonderful journey through history, fantasy, fact, fiction and literature courtesy of the Dinosaur that, although extinct is still very much a part of modern, everyday life.
|Distributor||New South Books|