Friday, October 12, 2012
I know I shouldn't laugh at the misfortune of others...
Oh, it's a pretty nice painting, too.
I borrowed it from the library on the strength of the cover image, and tried really hard to read the book, but it was crazy wonky; in addition to a collection of great "paleoart," it consists of Q-and-A interviews with the artists, and these are all artists/scientists, and they talk like it. I'm familiar enough with art that I can kinda sorta follow discussions of that end of things, but my casual interest in dinosaurs was no match for the science talked about here.
The only part that really grabbed me was the introduction, a brief history of the evolution of paleoart, and the transition of human understanding of dinosaurs as huge, dumb, slow-moving, cold-blooded, swamp-dwelling reptiles to the dynamically varied, agile, probably warm-blooded class of creatures we now consider them to have been.
I would love to read an entire book on that particular aspect of dinosaurs—a sort of cultural history of popular cultural conception of dinosaurs and how it has changed over the decades in science and fiction and film and art(centuries, I suppose, although a few centuries ago we didn't really know what dinosaurs were, despite seeing their bones and suchlike). Someone should really get on that.
In the mean time: Ha ha, look at that Tyrannosaurus Rex about to get eaten! Hee hee hee! Tyrannosaurus Rexs are the funniest.