Stalking the Umwelt
The Clash Between Instinct and Science.
By Carol Kaesuk Yoon.
Norton. 344 pp. $27.95
Chekhov observed that if you write a story about a man, a woman, and a beetle, the story is always about the man and the woman. Maybe it was an ashtray instead of a beetle. The point is that any story that involves humans is always about the things we do and don’t do to each other. The rest is, if not quite landscape, damn close.
We shouldn’t feel bad about caring most about each other. If beetles were writing the stories, they would all be about beetles, perhaps with a giant...