Demenageries: Thinking (Of) Animals After Derrida. (Critical Studies)

Demenageries: Thinking (Of) Animals After Derrida. (Critical Studies)

Anne Emmanuelle Berger

Language: English

Pages: 282

ISBN: 9042033509

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

Demenageries, Thinking (of) Animals after Derrida is a collection of essays on animality following Jacques Derrida's work. The Western philosophical tradition separated animals from men by excluding the former from everything that was considered "proper to man": laughing, suffering, mourning, and above all, thinking. The "animal" has traditionally been considered the absolute Other of humans. This radical otherness has served as the rationale for the domination, exploitation and slaughter of animals. What Derrida called "la pensée de l'animal" (which means both thinking concerning the animal and "animal thinking") may help us understand differently such apparently human features as language, thought and writing. It may also help us think anew about such highly philosophical concerns as differences, otherness, the end(s) of history and the world at large. Thanks to the ethical and epistemological crisis of Western humanism, "animality" has become an almost fashionable topic. However, Demenageries is the first collection to take Derrida's thinking on animal thinking as a starting point, a way of reflecting not only on animals but starting from them, in order to address a variety of issues from a vast range of theoretical perspectives: philosophy, literature, cultural theory, anthropology, ethics, politics, religion, feminism, postcolonialism and, of course, posthumanism.

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He does not make tracks whose deception lies in the fact that they will be taken as false, while being in fact true ones, that is, that indicate his true trail.”23 The animal is not “subject of the signifier,” which is to say, it does not have language. Canetti, writing in the same moment, also shares Lacan’s fundamental commitment – that animals do not possess and are not possessed by language, and that they do not, as a result, lie. Thus, he writes, “A talking animal would be no more than a

political in South Africa. It is, of course, not the question of the human so much as the question of tyranny that compels Canetti’s analysis. And, in his estimation, the origins of tyranny are found less in the capacity for transformation than in the prohibition on it. It is this prohibition or delimitation of transformability that he sees emerging in the lives of people like the Bushmen, whom he believes he has discovered in Bleek’s and Lloyd’s pages: Without transformation he could not have

incomparable and original experience of the impropriety that would come from appearing in truth naked, in front of the insistent gaze of the animal” (my emphasis). Indeed, at first glance there is nothing universal about this scene, and it cannot be universalized in any way, for as an experience it is entirely personal and unique. It belongs to one man only, and it belongs to him as his own (even though it is also the experience of a certain dispossession): there is no first human couple, no man

frequently interpreted not as sacrifice, but as an obscure calling to carry and respond to animals at the moment of their greatest alterity, in and beyond the moment of death. Derek Attridge’s reading of Disgrace is perhaps the best-known and most impressive contribution to this angle of understanding. In “Age of Bronze, State of Grace: Music and Dogs in Coetzee’s Disgrace,” Attridge figures dog-work within the paradigm of the pure and disinterested gift. “The two tasks Lurie undertakes in his

His statement is extraordinary for its vivid identification of fear as the basis for granting citizenship to an other. The animals named are mostly predatory, or at least enormous (the springbok stands alone as a relatively innocuous, vegetarian beast). In other words, they are beasts that could inflict death on a human, which could, in this limited physical sense, claim dominion in the place where humans also live. Of course, the animals are not granted citizenship. Citizenship is only for human

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