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Insects in Literature and the Arts


Edited By Laurence Talairach-Vielmas and Marie Bouchet

This bilingual collection of essays (in English and French) looks at entomology and representations of insects from a scientific, historical, philosophical, literary and artistic viewpoint.
The contributions illustrate the various responses to the insect world that have developed over centuries, concentrating upon the alien qualities of insects – a radical otherness that has provoked admiration and fear, or contributed to the debates over humans’ superiority over animals, especially during the evolutionary theory controversy, or in today’s ecological debates. Insects not only helped shape new discourses on nature and on the natural world, but their literary and artistic representations also reveal how humans relate to their environment.
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Table of Illustrations


Fig. 1: Bupreste de la grotte d’Arcy-sur-Cure (dessins originaux d’après Philippe Salmon, ‘Excursion aux grottes d’Arcy-sur-Cure et de Saint-Moré (Yonne)’, Revue mensuelle de l’École d’Anthropologie 7 (1897): 158-160).

Fig. 2: Scarabée de Tarkhan (dessins originaux d’après W.M. Flinders Petrie, G.A. Wainwright & A.H. Gardiner, Tarkhan I and Memphis V (London: British School of Archaeology in Egypt & Bernard Quaritch, 1913)).

Fig. 3: Larve et nymphe du scarabée dans leur ‘poire’ (dessins originaux d’après des matériaux appartenant à l’auteur).

Fig. 4: ‘Tableau final’ du Livre des Portes (d’après Joseph Bonomi & Samuel Sharpe, The Alabaster Sarcophagus of Oimenepthah I., King of Egypt (London: Longman, Green, Longman, Roberts, and Green, 1864); collection particulière, Paris).

Fig. 5: Archetypa studiaque patris Georgii Hoefnagelii (1592), pl. 3 (collection particulière, Paris).

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