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Quote #10

No, it was not language; it was what there was before language. Before things were written down. […] And if they could talk to animals, and the animals could talk to them, what didn’t they know about human beings? Or the earth itself, for that matter. It was more than tracks Calvin was looking for – he whispered to the trees, whispered to the ground, touched them, as a blind man caresses a page of Braille, pulling meaning through his fingers. (2.11.279)

Here we see a real explorer. Someone who is in complete harmony with the natural world, who is able to connect with all things: trees, humans, animals, earth, etc. All of Calvin’s senses are engaged, thus bringing to light his ability to comprehend, perceive, and understand both the location of a bobcat and also the fear in Milkman. This ability to communicate in a primal language makes the Shalimar men almost magical in their wisdom, and utterly connected to their own ancestors.

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