Frasi di Gerald Durrell

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Gerald Durrell

Data di nascita: 7. Gennaio 1925
Data di morte: 30. Gennaio 1995

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Gerald "Gerry" Malcolm Durrell è stato un naturalista, zoologo ed esploratore britannico.

Fu conosciuto soprattutto per aver fondato la Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust, un'organizzazione con lo scopo di salvare le specie in via di estinzione, e lo Zoo del Jersey sull'isola di Jersey nel 1958. Era il fratello minore dello scrittore e poeta Lawrence Durrell. Passò la propria infanzia a Corfù.

I suoi scritti sono un mix di autobiografia e zoologia, caratterizzati dal frequente ricorso all'ironia, e soprattutto sono basati su esperienze personali. Gerald Durrell ci ha fatto scoprire la natura con passione, attraverso i suoi occhi di biologo naturalista, descrivendo con arguzia il mondo degli animali e quello degli uomini ed evidenziando gli aspetti deleteri dell'umanità. Si tratta così di un incredibile lavoro di scienza popolare.

Ad esempio, il suo saggio Guida del Naturalista è un avvio allo studio scientifico degli ecosistemi, che contiene un grande numero di informazioni sugli ecosistemi lontani e allo stesso tempo la descrizione di esperimenti da fare in casa, nel proprio giardino. In tal modo, egli introduce il lettore senza sforzo nel cuore del processo scientifico.

Si ricordano tra le sue opere: La mia famiglia e altri animali , Incontri con animali , Luoghi sotto spirito , L'uccello beffardo , Il naturalismo dilettante , Durrell in Russia , in collaborazione con la moglie, e Io e i lemuri , resoconto di un viaggio in Madagascar.

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Frasi Gerald Durrell

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„The attitude of the average person to the world they live in is completely selfish.“

—  Gerald Durrell
Context: The attitude of the average person to the world they live in is completely selfish. When I take people round to see my animals, one of the first questions they ask (unless the animal is cute and appealing) is, "what use is it?" by which they mean, "what use is it to them?" To this one can reply "What use is the Acropolis?" Does a creature have to be of direct material use to mankind in order to exist? By and large, by asking the question "what use is it?" you are asking the animal to justify its existence without having justified your own.

„I have known silence: the cold earthy silence at the bottom of a newly dug well; the implacable stony silence of a deep cave; the hot, drugged midday silence when everything is hypnotised and stilled into silence by the eye of the sun; the silence when great music ends.“

—  Gerald Durrell
Context: I have seen a thousand sunsets and sunrises, on land where it floods forest and mountains with honey coloured light, at sea where it rises and sets like a blood orange in a multicoloured nest of cloud, slipping in and out of the vast ocean. I have seen a thousand moons: harvest moons like gold coins, winter moons as white as ice chips, new moons like baby swans’ feathers. I have seen seas as smooth as if painted, coloured like shot silk or blue as a kingfisher or transparent as glass or black and crumpled with foam, moving ponderously and murderously. … I have known silence: the cold earthy silence at the bottom of a newly dug well; the implacable stony silence of a deep cave; the hot, drugged midday silence when everything is hypnotised and stilled into silence by the eye of the sun; the silence when great music ends. I have heard summer cicadas cry so that the sound seems stitched into your bones. … I have seen hummingbirds flashing like opals round a tree of scarlet blooms, humming like a top. I have seen flying fish, skittering like quicksilver across the blue waves, drawing silver lines on the surface with their tails. I have seen Spoonbills fling home to roost like a scarlet banner across the sky. I have seen Whales, black as tar, cushioned on a cornflower blue sea, creating a Versailles of fountain with their breath. I have watched butterflies emerge and sit, trembling, while the sun irons their winds smooth. I have watched Tigers, like flames, mating in the long grass. I have been dive-bombed by an angry Raven, black and glossy as the Devil’s hoof. I have lain in water warm as milk, soft as silk, while around me played a host of Dolphins. I have met a thousand animals and seen a thousand wonderful things… but — All this I did without you. This was my loss. All this I want to do with you. This will be my gain. All this I would gladly have forgone for the sake of one minute of your company, for your laugh, your voice, your eyes, hair, lips, body, and above all for your sweet, ever surprising mind which is an enchanting quarry in which it is my privilege to delve. Letter to his fiancée Lee, (31 July 1978), published in Gerald Durrell: An Authorized Biography by Douglas Botting (1999)

„I have seen a thousand sunsets and sunrises, on land where it floods forest and mountains with honey coloured light, at sea where it rises and sets like a blood orange in a multicoloured nest of cloud, slipping in and out of the vast ocean. I have seen a thousand moons: harvest moons like gold coins, winter moons as white as ice chips, new moons like baby swans’ feathers.“

—  Gerald Durrell
Context: I have seen a thousand sunsets and sunrises, on land where it floods forest and mountains with honey coloured light, at sea where it rises and sets like a blood orange in a multicoloured nest of cloud, slipping in and out of the vast ocean. I have seen a thousand moons: harvest moons like gold coins, winter moons as white as ice chips, new moons like baby swans’ feathers. I have seen seas as smooth as if painted, coloured like shot silk or blue as a kingfisher or transparent as glass or black and crumpled with foam, moving ponderously and murderously. … I have known silence: the cold earthy silence at the bottom of a newly dug well; the implacable stony silence of a deep cave; the hot, drugged midday silence when everything is hypnotised and stilled into silence by the eye of the sun; the silence when great music ends. I have heard summer cicadas cry so that the sound seems stitched into your bones. … I have seen hummingbirds flashing like opals round a tree of scarlet blooms, humming like a top. I have seen flying fish, skittering like quicksilver across the blue waves, drawing silver lines on the surface with their tails. I have seen Spoonbills fling home to roost like a scarlet banner across the sky. I have seen Whales, black as tar, cushioned on a cornflower blue sea, creating a Versailles of fountain with their breath. I have watched butterflies emerge and sit, trembling, while the sun irons their winds smooth. I have watched Tigers, like flames, mating in the long grass. I have been dive-bombed by an angry Raven, black and glossy as the Devil’s hoof. I have lain in water warm as milk, soft as silk, while around me played a host of Dolphins. I have met a thousand animals and seen a thousand wonderful things… but — All this I did without you. This was my loss. All this I want to do with you. This will be my gain. All this I would gladly have forgone for the sake of one minute of your company, for your laugh, your voice, your eyes, hair, lips, body, and above all for your sweet, ever surprising mind which is an enchanting quarry in which it is my privilege to delve. Letter to his fiancée Lee, (31 July 1978), published in Gerald Durrell: An Authorized Biography by Douglas Botting (1999)

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