And let us not forget the birds: "After Grip died, Dickens had him taxidermied. Literary historians believe the bird inspired Edgar Allan Poe’s poem “The Raven,” written shortly after Poe reviewed Dickens’s Barnaby Rudge, which features a talkative raven. Grip now lives in the Rare Books Department of the Free Library of Philadelphia."
There is no mention of Kafka and pets, and no doubt for good reason. I believe he mentioned animals rarely, and can not remember his ever having a pet of any sort. However, in his writing, Kafka has animals galore, even using them as main characters. And let us not forget the giant vermin of The Metamorphosis. [DE]
Bambino, photographed by Mark Twain's daughter, Jean Clemens (Image: Mark Twain Papers, University of California, Berkeley)
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by Maria Popova
Twain and Bambino, Browning and Flush, Dickens and Grip, Hemingway and Uncle Willie, and more.
The wonderful recent Lost Cat memoir, one of my favorite books of the past few years, reminded me of how central, yet often unsuspected, a role pets have played in famous authors’ lives throughout literary history.
Cats have inspired Joyce’s children’s books, T. S. Eliot’s poetry, Gay Talese’s portrait of New York, and various literary satire, while dogs have fueled centuries of literature, philosophy andpsychology, interactive maps, and some of theNew Yorker’s finest literature and art. Gathered here are some of literary history’s most moving accounts of famous writers’ love for their pets, culled from a wealth of letters, journals, and biographies.