chapter  13
12 Pages

Modernity and the threshold: psychologizing the places in-between

In James Tiptree’s science fiction short story ‘The psychologist who wouldn’t do

awful things to rats’, the researcher Lipsitz sketches the edge behaviour of the

common rat (Fig. 13.1), and explains:

There’s an enormous difference between the way Rattus and Cricetus

– [rats and hamsters] – behave in the open field, and they’re both

rodents. Even as simple a thing as edge behaviour – … Edges. I mean

the way the animal responds to edges and the shape of the environ-

ment … it’s basic to living and nobody seems to have explored it.1