T.C. Boyle in Freiburg

gestern las T.C. Boyle in Freiburg aus seinem neuesten Buch “When the Killing is done”. Es geht um einen erbitterten Kampf von Umweltaktivisten gegeneinander. Die einen wollen auf einer Insel die nicht einheimischen Ratten mit Stumpf und Stiel ausrotten, weil sie die einheimischen Vögel dezimieren, die anderen argumentieren, dass Ratten auch Tiere sind. Und das alles mit viel Wut, oder wie der Amerikaner sagt “zeal”.

When the Killing’s Done by TC Boyle – review

http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2011/mar/19/when-killings-done-tc-boyle-review

TC Boyle’s hectic novel of humans versus nature leaves the reader breathless

The Guardian, Saturday 19 March 2011

California was an island in the earliest, fanciful maps. Ecologically, the maps were right. Isolated by the ocean, the Sierra and the great deserts, dozens of species unknown elsewhere flourished in the benign climate, until the white men came. Then, under the impact of a thousand imported exotics, native species began to decline or perish.

There are Californians today who, far from planting lawns around their desert condos, would like to uproot all the golden Spanish wild oats to let the bunch grasses of Indian days cover the hillsides again. The Forest Service, though not so purist as that, keeps up a fierce and unremitting resistance to many invasive species, not only plants but animals, too.

TC Boyle is well aware that Americans like to see everything as a war against something. In the war he describes, even the lonely, fogbound Channel Islands off Santa Barbara are a battlefield. And it’s a civil war, the worst kind, because the opponents are close kin: they both want desperately to save the island’s wild creatures. Government agents believe salvation lies in control, in careful, scientific stewardship. Animal rights advocates believe human interference does more harm than good and is morally wrong. The arguments on both sides are passionate and cogent.

A typical dilemma: the Forest Service must trap or kill eagles on one of the islands. Why persecute these magnificent birds? Well, when DDT finished off the native bald eagle, which isn’t much of a hunter, the carnivorous golden eagles moved out from the mainland to prey on the wild pigs thriving in the great stands of fennel that sprang up after the island was closed to sheep-ranching (pigs, fennel and sheep all, of course, destructive species introduced by the whites – themselves an invasive race). As the hordes of pigs are eliminated by shooting them, the golden eagles have nothing to eat but the one remaining native species, a charming dwarf fox. How to save the fox? Get rid of the golden eagles so the bald eagle can be reintroduced.

Animal rights activists reject such painful, partial, meddlesome solutions. It’s simple: just keep your hands off, stop interfering, don’t kill anything. We’ve done enough damage. Let the animals have it their way. And let the foxes go extinct, leave the island to the pigs? Deny our responsibility and let the harm we’ve done be our total legacy on earth? This dire complexity, these insoluble questions are not, of course, limited to California. This is the dilemma our species faces all over the planet. It is a tremendous subject for a novel. And a tremendously dramatic one…

Der offizielle Buchtrailer wurde von T.C. Boyles Tochter produziert.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8rB7k-2Jhm0

BZ-Artikel: http://www.badische-zeitung.de/freiburg/leute-x773wj6ix–59269401.html

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