Loosely inspired by the format and tone of Elias Canetti’s Der Ohrenzeuge, the 21 character studies in this collection feature familiar creatures, whom the reader is asked to rediscover as individuals rather than as archetypal motifs. A vampire wants to find a pre-made home, a mermaid feels uncomfortable on both land and at sea, a centaur wishes people focused on something other than his sexuality, and a mummy seeks to make herself unfeeling. Like us, these creatures are first and foremost themselves, and they behave in very human ways while also interrogating the Freudian claim that ‘anatomy is fate’. And so they confront their own physical reality as they try to forge connections, fall in and out of love, and seek to be understood for who they are.
Flo Sunnen’s first book “The Hook” was published by the wonderful Nightjar Press in 2018. The Dublin-based visual artist Dolorosa de Cruz added 21 drawings to this bestiarium.