I know your species tend to look down

upon our world, considering it brutal, cannibalistic and deceitful (though you might acknowledge the argument that this makes us closer to you rather than distant). But among us there has always been, from the beginning, a sense of equality. Oh, to be sure, we ate one another, and so on; the weaker species knew all too well what to expect if they crossed the path of something bigger and hungry. But we merely recognized this as being the way of things. The fact that one animal was capable of killing another does not make the first animal superior to the second; merely more dangerous. Perhaps this is a concept difficult for you to grasp, but there is a mutual respect amongst us. Eating another animal was not grounds for despising it; and being eaten did not instill in the victim–or the victim’s family–any exaggerated admiration for the dining species.

Julian Barnes. A history of the world in 10 1/2 chapters


In effortless prose he tells it, and makes you think about how it’s told. History and stories, its marks and its claims.


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