Cormac James and Philip Hoare talk Moby Dick, the Arctic, and Poetry at Literary Hub

The fusion of literature and nature speaks volumes. Almost literally. Bellevue Literary Press is showcasing this abundance in their BLP Conversations series, featuring BLP authors in conversation with other professionals at the intersection of the arts and science, the neuroscientists, dramatists, psychiatrists, and historians of today. The series is a companion to BLP’s book The Poetic Species: A Conversation with Edward O. Wilson and Robert Hass.

Enter Cormac James and Philip Hoare, whose June 11 conversation was featured at Literary Hub.

Philip Hoare

Philip Hoare

James (author of the Bellevue Literary Press novel The Surfacing) and Hoare (a notable nonfiction writer in the realm of nature and science) discussed the powerful metaphors in each other’s work, Moby Dick (of course), and the remarkable talents of whales.

Both authors use parts of nature as metaphor—in Hoar’s book The Sea Inside, he ponders that “Our bodies are as unknown to us as the ocean, both familiar and strange; the sea inside ourselves.”

The Surfacing by Cormac James

The Surfacing by Cormac James

In response, James continued with another metaphor, and then onto the incredible theory present in Hoare’s work that whales may be able to perceive 3D pictures of the human inner life. In James’s words, “that for them, much as we often are for ourselves, we are solid blocks of emotions rather than mere knots of mechanical function.”

Beginning in 2014, the BLP Conversations has grown to nine installments, each available for free online.

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