Consciousness and language- a dog’s life

Giller winner a provocative parable. Full of laughs, disturbing symbolism and reflections about ourselves…. I laughed with tilted head- my dog says to me ‘what the hell did you say? ‘ all the time. 🙂 their body language and facial expressions, like ours, penetrate meaning but sometimes confusing. Occasionally it feels like they can talk. Yet daily, we ask ourselves what they are thinking? What do they see? I like it that way. 

 When Hermes and Apollo make a bet about human happiness, they grant 15 dogs staying at a veterinary clinic the power of human consciousness. The dogs instantly become divided between those who prefer their old dog ways and those who want to take advantage of their newfound increased intelligence. What unfolds is a powerful story about what it means to have consciousness, and the good and the bad that comes with it…What does it mean to be alive? To think, to feel, to love and to envy? André Alexis explores all of this and more in the extraordinary Fifteen Dogs, an insightful and philosophical meditation on the nature of consciousness. ..” ( CBCBOOKS) 

 (Maddie by Al Smith 2015) 

“On another occasion, while he lay in his wicker basket, she asked – Do you believe in God? Majnoun had never heard the word before. He’d tilted his head, as if to ask her to repeat the question. And she did her best to explain the concept behind the word. As Majnoun took it, the word seemed to refer to a ‘master of all masters.’ Did he believe in such a being? The thought had never occurred to him, but he supposed such a being was possible. So, when she asked the question again, he nodded”(Alexis , 74)


Fifteen Dogs by André Alexis.  Paperback, 171 pages.  Published April 14th 2015 by Coach House Books (first published March 23rd 2015). ISBN1552453057 (ISBN13: 9781552453056). literary awardsScotiabank Giller Prize (2015), Toronto Book Award Nominee (2015), Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize (2015)

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photographer, flyfisher , bird watcher, dog lover, amateur artist and retired teacher-librarian...
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