By Scott Leslie
Scientists estimate that the full biodiversity in the world is among 10 million and a hundred million species. of those, simply over 1.6 million and counting have really been catalogued and defined. One percentage, or 16,306, of these species are threatened with extinction, approximately one-fifth of them significantly. Of this workforce, a few have vanishingly small populations within the double or unmarried digits. a number of species, together with the Pinta Island monstrous tortoise and the Yangtze mammoth softshell turtle, sit down squarely at the border of extinction within the wild with a inhabitants of one.
In a hundred less than a hundred, Scott Leslie tells the attention-grabbing tales of species in far-flung areas not anyone ever hears approximately, just like the northern hairy-nosed wombat, the Gorgan mountain salamander or the Irrawaddy river shark. in the direction of domestic are the Vancouver Island marmot, the Wyoming toad and the Devil’s gap pupfish. Leslie additionally tells tales of hopeful growth, as a number of the rarest of the infrequent are again from the threshold of extinction throughout the committed efforts of individuals worldwide.
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The sexual awakening of the protagonist, Michel, “depends on his refusal to see the actual foreign others who embody his desire as anything but objects . . anonymous, available bodies, the means to his awakening, never subjects of their own stories or desires” (101). Boone’s reading of Michel’s character is astute, but he does not sufficiently acknowledge the way in which the narrative carefully circumscribes Michel. The novel opens space for analyzing its protagonist by triply mediating Michel’s reception: at first remove, by Michel himself, who rehearses his story to friends he has summoned after its events take place, engaging in a limited measure of self-critique; at second remove, by the puzzled friends, who serve as chagrined stand-ins for the reader; and at third remove, by the authorial voice, who not only puts Michel at a critical distance in the preface, but also, throughout the narrative, subtly has the protagonist undermine himself through his own observations.
9. See also Ross Chambers’s analysis of the gay sex tourism of Roland Barthes in Loiterature (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1999), 250–69; as well as the work of Aldrich, Edwards, and others cited above. 10. Edwards, for example, notes that Mary Louise Pratt’s Imperial Eyes “relegates samesexuality to a footnote” (12). 11. See, for example, Ruth Vasey 107. 12. Gregory Tomso in “The Queer History of Leprosy and Same-Sex Love” considers Stoddard’s Catholicism, homoeroticism, and interest in leprosy, looking at the “pleasures of suffering and redemption” (758) in Stoddard’s short work The Lepers of Molokai (1885).
On learning that Kána-aná had not fully been “corrupted” by his conversion efforts, but had died a “devoted and unshaken adherent to the faith of his [Hawaiian] fathers,” the narrator feels redeemed, concluding that he “could not but feel that the blood was off my hands” (65). Boone’s conclusions about Joe Orton and André Gide’s homosexual encounters during their North African travels thus might help us to read the ambivalences and contradictions at the heart of Stoddard’s work. Boone notes that, “in narratives Subaltern Looks and the Imperial Gaze: Charles Warren Stoddard’s South Sea Idyls | 45 where the occidental traveler by virtue of his homosexuality is already the other, the presumed equivalence of Eastern homosexuality and occidental personal liberation may disguise the specter of colonial privilege and exploitation encoded in the hierarchy of white man/brown boy” (104, italics in original).
100 Under 100: The Race to Save the World's Rarest Living Things by Scott Leslie