Patrik Svensson

  • C'est l'une des créatures les plus énigmatiques du règne animal. Omniprésente depuis la nuit des temps (dans toutes les mers du globe, dans la mythologie, la Bible, l'Égypte ancienne, la littérature et d'innombrables cultures de par le monde, du Japon à la Scandinavie en passant par le pays basque), l'anguille ne cesse pourtant de se dérober à notre compréhension. Comment se reproduit-elle ? Pourquoi retourne-t-elle à la fin de son existence à son lieu d'origine, la mer des Sargasses, au large des Bermudes - où nul être humain cependant n'a jamais réussi à la voir ? Aristote croyait qu'elle naissait spontanément de la vase ; Sigmund Freud commença sa carrière en disséquant des centaines d'anguilles afin de dénicher leurs organes reproducteurs - en vain. Et aujourd'hui encore, « la question de l'anguille » demeure en grande partie irrésolue.

    Patrik Svensson a passé son enfance à pêcher l'anguille, avec son père. La nuit, en silence, pendant des heures, ils attendaient de sentir vibrer le mystère au bout de leur ligne plongée dans les profondeurs des rivières et des lacs. Au point que cet animal, source de fascination autant que d'effroi, est devenu pour lui un totem - le symbole de tout ce qui demeure hors de notre portée, et à quoi pourtant nous accordons notre foi.

    En mêlant la grande aventure scientifique, écologique, et le récit intime, L'Évangile des anguilles dévoile un pan de cet autre mystère, que chacun porte en soi : celui de nos propres origines et du sens même de la vie.

  • I can't recall us ever talking about anything other than eels and how to best catch them, down there by the stream. Actually, I can't remember us speaking at all. Maybe because we never did.'The European eel, Anguilla anguilla, is one of the strangest creatures nature ever created. Remarkably little is known about the eel, even today. What we do know is that it's born as a tiny willow-leaf shaped larva in the Sargasso Sea, travels on the ocean currents toward the coasts of Europe - a journey of about four thousand miles that takes at least two years. Upon arrival, it transforms itself into a glass eel and then into a yellow eel before it wanders up into fresh water. It lives a solitary life, hiding from light and science both, for ten, twenty, fifty years, before migrating back to the sea in the autumn, morphing into a silver eel and swimming all the way back to the Sargasso Sea, where it breeds and dies.And yet . . . There is still so much we don't know about eels. No human has ever seen eels reproduce; no one can give a complete account of the eel's metamorphoses or say why they are born and die in the Sargasso Sea; no human has even seen a mature eel in the Sargasso Sea. Ever. And now the eel is disappearing, and we don't know exactly why.What we do know is that eels and their mysterious lives captivate us.This is the basis for Patrik Svensson's quite unique natural science memoir; his ongoing fascination with this secretive fish, but also the equally perplexing and often murky relationship he shared with his father, whose only passion in life was fishing for this obscure creature.Through the exploration of eels in literature (Gunter Grass and Graham Swift feature, amongst others) in the history of science (we learn about Aristotle's and Sigmund Freud's complicated relationships with eels) as well as modern marine biology (Rachel Carson and others) we get to know this peculiar animal, and in this exploration, also learn about the human condition, life and death, through natural science and nature writing at its very best.As Patrik Svensson concludes: 'by writing about eels, I have in some ways found my way home again.

  • THE GOSPEL OF THE EELS - A FATHER, A SON AND THE WORLD''S MOST ENIGMATIC FISH Nouv.

    ''I can''t recall us ever talking about anything other than eels and how to best catch them, down there by the stream. Actually, I can''t remember us speaking at all. Maybe because we never did.'' The European eel, Anguilla anguilla, is one of the strangest creatures nature ever created. Remarkably little is known about the eel, even today. What we do know is that it''s born as a tiny willow-leaf shaped larva in the Sargasso Sea, travels on the ocean currents toward the coasts of Europe - a journey of about four thousand miles that takes at least two years. Upon arrival, it transforms itself into a glass eel and then into a yellow eel before it wanders up into fresh water. It lives a solitary life, hiding from both light and science, for ten, twenty, fifty years, before migrating back to the sea in the autumn, morphing into a silver eel and swimming all the way back to the Sargasso Sea, where it breeds and dies. And yet . . . There is still so much we don''t know about eels. No human has ever seen eels reproduce; no one can give a complete account of the eel''s metamorphoses or say why they are born and die in the Sargasso Sea; no human has even seen a mature eel in the Sargasso Sea. Ever. And now the eel is disappearing, and we don''t know exactly why. What we do know is that eels and their mysterious lives captivate us. This is the basis for The Gospel of the Eels , Patrik Svensson''s quite unique natural science memoir; his ongoing fascination with this secretive fish, but also the equally perplexing and often murky relationship he shared with his father, whose only passion in life was fishing for this obscure creature. Through the exploration of eels in literature (Gunter Grass and Graham Swift feature, amongst others) and the history of science (we learn about Aristotle''s and Sigmund Freud''s complicated relationships with eels) as well as modern marine biology (Rachel Carson and others) we get to know this peculiar animal. In this exploration, we also learn about the human condition, life and death, through natural science and nature writing at its very best. As Patrik Svensson concludes: ''by writing about eels, I have in some ways found my way home again.''

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