Wednesday, May 22, 2024

A Review of "The Secret History of Bigfoot: Field Notes on a North American Monster" by John O'Connor


How much of writing is staring down the dark. (Just ask Dante and his selva oscura.) Of course that also means, how much of life is staring down the dark, knowing that even if we fail or fear to consider it, the dark will swallow us up in the end. So maybe that’s why we want something to be out there, and why not Bigfoot? 

 Here’s one of the nut graphs John O’Connor offers in his lively, thoughtful, funny, The Secret History of Bigfoot: Field Notes on a North American Monster

Whatever mythic yearning monsters fulfill, we’re jonesing hard. Sixty-six million of us, according to a recent survey, profess to believe in just one: Bigfoot. Sixty-six million! As these numbers suggest, it’s not only crackpots who believe. There may be no more sacred expression of American exceptionalism than faith in a monster we’ve adapted to fit our peculiar view of history, unfalsifiable by facts proffered by science or qualified experts, and suggesting a medieval belief in the raw and violent power of nature. Perhaps we all need Bigfoot in our lives, whether we realize it or not.

Care to read the rest then do so at the California Review of Books.

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