What more can a man ask for?

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What more can a man ask for?

eisenI have been reading and very much enjoying three books by Frederik Sjöberg, a Swedish naturalist, cultural columnist and translator with a particular interest in hoverflies (*details at the end if you would like to read them – I recommend them all but in particular “The Fly Trap”). His books are more random memoirs than about wildlife, in which he diverges frequently and interestingly on the trail of long-forgotten Swedish naturalists and artists. In the third book his particular focus is on Gustaf Eisen who started his long life as a taxonomist and the world’s foremost expert on earthworms and ended it as a famous art historian. In this latter phase he lived, with a cat, in an apartment beside Central Park in New York spending his evenings learning to read cuneiform writing and his mornings walking in the park feeding birds. I was struck by the following paragraph written by Sjöberg:

“His mornings were spent, as usual, in Central Park. He knew over a hundred squirrels as individuals – by name – and we can assume that their friendships were mutual. He must have been one of the real characters of the park and clearly highly respected as such, since we are told that the park administration hired a limousine every spring to drive Eisen around the park so that he could point out the trees in which they should fix new nest-boxes. What more can a man ask for?”

Indeed. That would suit me very well as an epitaph,

Frederik Sjöberg *“The Fly Trap”* (excellent review at )

Frederik Sjöberg *“The Art of Flight and the Raisin King”* (both together in one volume)

By |2016-08-21T13:56:03+00:00August 21st, 2016|art, collecting|0 Comments

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