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The Animals in Us – We in Animals

Szymon Wrobel

In art and literature, animals appear not only as an allegoric representation but as a reference which troubles the border between humanity and animality. The aim of this book is to challenge traditional ways of confronting animality with humanity and to consider how the Darwinian turn has modified this relationship in postmodern narratives. The subject of animality in culture, ethics, philosophy, art and literature is explored and reevaluated, and a host of questions regarding the conditions of co-existence of humans and animals is asked: Should discourse ethics now include entities that initially seemed mute and were excluded from discussions? Does the modern animal rights movement need a theology, and vice versa, is there a theology that needs animals? Are animals in literature just metaphors of human characters, or do they reveal something more profound, a direction of human desires, or a fantasy of transgressing humanity? This book provides answers and thus gives a new impetus to a so far largely overlooked field.
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Wegen dem Pferd. The Fear and the Animal Life


Piotr Laskowski


It is, as Deleuze and Guattari observed, “an ordinary sight in those days,” an indispensable part of full modernity, an image that is always within the range of sight. “A horse falls down in the street!,” “a horse is going to die.” From the Auguries … of William Blake, from Hogarth’s second stage of cruelty, through laments of Dostoyevski, up to the madness of Nietzsche and Little Hans’ phobia—the image is always there. It becomes “a hieroglyph that condenses all fears, from unnamable to namable.” Taking famous Freudian Analysis of a Phobia in a Five-year-old Boy as a starting point, we shall try to revise it as well as its famous Lacanian and Deleuzian reinterpretations. We shall invoke Agamben’s concept of “bare life” to reconsider an animal life that is tormented and eventually destroyed.


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