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The clawing appeal of werewolves -- there’s something about hairy

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Linton Weeks has an article over at NPR about the full-moon fever for werewolves these days. Here’s an excerpt of the lengthy piece that goes on to analyze the paw prints of this pop-culture stirring. (Note: We added the links...)

Seen The New York Times best-seller list lately? It’s awash with werecreatures — half-human, half-beast thingies. There are weretigers in Laurell K. Hamilton’s novel Skin Trade. And a werepanther in Charlaine Harris’s novel Dead and Gone. Werethings are showing up everywhere. There’s [‘The Wolf Man’] movie in the works starring Benicio Del Toro. And word of a remake of John Landis’ 1981 movie ‘An American Werewolf in London.’ A new series on BBC America premiering in July features a weresomething-or-other. Even the United States Senate is worrying about werecreatures. More on that in a sec. But first: Where in the world is this wereness weirdness coming from...? Charlotte Otten, author of ‘A Lycanthropy Reader’ and ‘The Literary Werewolf,’ attributes the present pop-cult fascination with werethings to ‘our continuing interest in metamorphosis.’ A professor emerita at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Mich., Otten says that some of the struggles in the history of metamorphosis can be traced to ‘uncertainty about the nature of a human being and his/her relationship to the animal kingdom.’ In werecreatures, she says, ‘ultimately, we find ambiguities and mysteries...’ READ THE REST

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