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Message 175: le chien-loup

The image below appears in Radiohead.com‘s Scrapbook section.

It reads (approximate):

le chien-loup
Dog-wolf

–the hair of the dog
when you can’t recognize
a Dog of wolf

This early print of “Le Chien-Loup” is by Georges-Louis Leclerc, Comte de Buffon (1707-1788). There is a book entitled Le chien-loup by Jean Ferniot. There is also an extensive web site on the breed, one with an interesting history: “In the year 1955 a biological experiment took place in the CSSR of that time, namely, the crossing of a German Shepherd Dog with a Carpathian Wolf.” Reader andres bisserier suggests the phrase “when you can’t recognize / a Dog or wolf” may mean “something like ‘when you can’t tell if it’s a threat.'”

3 replies on “Message 175: le chien-loup”

Hi, this is Adam from Radiohead Unpackt. The bit of text above actually reads “The hour of the day when you can’t recognize…” It might not surprise you that Thom’s referring to his witching hour, the oncoming Gloaming. Apparently, he picked up on some sort of French expression for dusk or late afternoon.

It’s nice that the reference to a genetically modified creature, Le Chien Loup, pops up right when the world begins its transition toward darkness. It obviously foreshadows “A Wolf at the Door,” as well. In some ways, *Hail to the Thief.* precedes *Kid A* and *Amnesiac*, but in other ways, it anticipates the two, making a sort of larger circle.

The french expression for dusk or dawn is : “Entre chien et loup [between dog and wolf]”. And it means exactly what has been written by Thom.

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