Gregory Forth

Oct 23, 2020

A Dog Pissing at the Edge of a Path

Animal Metaphors in an Eastern Indonesian Society

McGill-Queens University Press 2019

purchase at bookshop.org

Gregory Forth, Professor Emeritus of Anthropology at the University of Alberta and Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, has studied the Nage people of the eastern Indonesian island of Flores for more than three decades. In A Dog Pissing at the Edge of a Path: Animal Metaphors in an Eastern Indonesian Society (McGill-Queen’s UP, 2019), he focuses on how the Nage understand metaphor and how their knowledge of animals has helped to shape specific expressions. Based on extensive field research, the book explores the meaning and use of over 500 animal metaphors employed by the Nage. Additionally, Forth investigates how closely their indigenous concept of pata péle corresponds to the Greek-derived English concept of metaphor, and demonstrates that the Nage people understand these figures of speech in the same way as Westerners - namely as conventional ways of speaking about people and objects, not expressions of an essential identity between their animal vehicles and human referents. Theoretically engaging with anthropology's recent ontological turn, the book considers whether metaphors reveal significant differences in conceptions of human-animal relations, the human-animal contrast, and human understanding of other humans in different parts of the world.

To get a 20% discount on this book, go to this website here and enter this code on check out: MQF2.


Akash Ondaatje is a Research Associate at Know History. He studied at McGill University (B.A. History) and Queen’s University (M.A. History), where he researched human-animal relations and transatlantic exchanges in eighteenth-century British culture through his thesis, Animal Ascension: Elevation and Debasement Through Human-Animal Associations in English Satire, 1700-1820. Contact: 17amo2@queensu.ca

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