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Richard Adams, Shardik

In the following 1974 recording with artist/host Judith Vivell, English author Richard Adams reads from his second novel, Shardik, and discusses his interest in writing books featuring anthropomorphic characters and the scrutiny he anticipates since his debut novel, Watership Down, gave him instant status on the literary scene.

The tone of the novel is informed by cultish sub groups of mankind who have worshiped animals throughout history. The book's namesake is a bear, that appears in the story as a tyrannical and antagonistic force, believed by tribesmen to embody the Power of God. To Adams, the bear possesses an inherent sense of nobility. He connects his appreciation for this spiritual ideal to the scholarship of Carl Jung and Joseph Campbell.

Richard Adams (b. 1920) is a celebrated fantasy novelist. Prior to his years as a writer, he was a part of the British Civil Service. His first book, Watership Down, received international acclaim almost immediately following publication. He was 52 when it went to print. Adams was an elected Fellow at the Royal Society of Literature in 1975. In addition to Shardik, his published works include The Plague Dogs (1977), The Girl in a Swing (1980), The Outlandish (1999), and Gentle Footprints (2010). Several of his books have been adapted for film and television.


Historic Audio from the Archives of Charles Ruas


An unparalleled collection of recovered and restored programs from the seventies produced by Charles Ruas, and featuring Allen Ginsberg, John Giorno, Anaïs Nin, William Boroughs, Buckminster Fuller, Sylvia Plath, Pablo Neruda, and Jorge Luis Borges, among numerous others.