ReadySteadyBlog

I quite fancied reading Mark Rowlands's The Philosopher and the Wolf, but Jenny Diski has rather put me off calling it an "emotionally lamentable memoir":


Rowlands was in his twenties when he bought Brenin, a hybrid wolf-dog puppy. It was the early 1990s and he was lecturing in philosophy at Tuscaloosa, Alabama. In his spare time he hung out with the students, getting through a bottle or two of bourbon a night, playing rugby and lending Brenin to his team mates because, of all their big, bold dogs, Brenin was the best “chick magnet. In fact, they used a slightly different expression: more colourful, but not really repeatable”. There is a good deal more testosterone in this autobiography than an older cat-keeping lady can easily relate to.

More than a spitz-loving blogger can probably cope with too, then! (Fact-checking, my understanding is that Brenin, Rowlands' "dog", was actually pure wolf, or so Rowlands was assured. You can buy a wolf-dog hybrid in the States that is up to 96% wolf, but buying and selling pure wolves is illegal. Rowlands didn't know this when he bought Brenin, and says he wouldn't have cared that much anyway.)

Readers Comments

  1. Jonathan Derbyshire Saturday 29 November 2008

    Mark, I've treated Rowlands' book a little more generously here: http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2008/nov/29/philosopher-wolf-mark-rowlands

  2. Had he done more research, he would have found that the dog he was calling a wolf was neither hybrid or wolf but an Alaskan Malamute pure dog.

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