Tag: Primates

The Soul of the Ape & My Friends the Baboons

Eugene Marais


Paperback. The two titles are published as separate ebooks.

Eugene Marais spent three years living in the South African wilderness in close daily contact with a troop of baboons. He later described this as the happiest, most content time of his troubled life. This period produced two works which are testament to his research and conclusions; they have very different histories.

Firstly, there was a series of articles written in Afrikaans for the newspaper Die Vaderland. They were then published in book form under the title Burgers van die Berge, and were first published in an English translation in 1939 under the title My Friends the Baboons. These pieces were written in a popular vein suitable to a newspaper readership, and were not regarded seriously by Marais himself. They are a journal; a series of anecdotes and impressions.

The Soul of the Ape, which Marais wrote in beautifully clear and precise English, was the more serious scientific document; however after his death in 1936, it could not be found. It was lost for 32 years, and was recovered in 1968, and published the following year.

The excellent introduction by Robert Ardrey that is included in this volume was part of the 1969 and subsequent editions of The Soul of the Ape, and adds greatly to an appreciation of its importance.

Together, these three texts give us as complete a picture as we will ever get of Marais’ three year study of these complex relatives of humanity, and its implications for the study of consciousness.

My Friends the Baboons

Eugene Marais


Free Epub and Kindle versions

My Friends the Baboons is that rare piece of writing; a paper of scientific observation which could reduce anyone of compassion to tears – for who cannot be moved by the final chapter when a tribe of baboons appeals to Marais and his companion to save their young?

Marais, journalist, poet, scholar and scientist, spent more than three years studying the chacma baboons in the wild, and his notes, comments and conclusions in this pioneering work have been a source of inspiration since they were written. At the time he began his work, he was able to study a troop of baboons who had never known man. The four-year Boer War removed the settlers, and the baboon troop led an undisturbed life, with no fear of their modern and most devastating foe: human farmers.

The Soul of the Ape

Eugene Marais


Kindle, epub

Early in the 20th century Eugène Marais, South African journalist, lawyer, poet and natural scientist, travelled to the wild Northern Transvaal and lived for three years at close quarters with a troop of chacma baboons.
The Soul of the Ape is the record of his experiences and observations. Lost for forty years, the manuscript was rediscovered by Robert Ardrey, who dedicated his African Genesis to Marais. Ardrey believed that Marais’ work “presents better than any other book published thus far the dawning of humanity in the psyche of the higher primate.”

This book is both a rare personal document and a pioneering study of the primitive mind.

Link: The Origin of a “Revolutionary Theory”

Helian.net


Link

Eugene Marais was a human community in the person of one man. He was a poet, an advocate, a journalist, a story-teller, a drug addict, a psychologist, a natural scientist. He embraced the pains of many, the visions of the few, and perhaps the burden was too much for one man… As a scientist he was unique, supreme in his time, yet a worker in a science then unborn. – R. Ardrey, The Soul of the Ape (Introduction)