Anne Simon | Littérature et réification du vivant | Séminaire C. Allamand | Rutgers U. | 25 oct. 2017

Communication  « Littérature et réification du vivant », séminaire « New Literary Animals » de Carole Allamand, Rutgers University, État-Unis, 25 octobre 2017.

On examinera dans quelle mesure les sciences humaines et un grand pan de la littérature contemporaine mettent à jour les modalités techniques de la coupure anthropozoologique, qui sèment le trouble et le désordre dans les identités des animaux comme des humains. Seront examinées des œuvres d’O. Rosenthal, de M. Desbiolles et d’Y. Bichet mettant en scène des bêtes « dénaturées » pour deux raisons différentes : soit parce que leur naturalité relève d’une construction fantasmatique naïve ou culturellement située, soit parce que leur sauvagerie et leur altérité sont à tel point encadrées qu’elles ne peuvent plus constituer une « marge » (R. Gary) pour l’humain.


New Literary Animals

For centuries, if not millennia, literary representations of animals have had one thing in common: their
not being about animals. The creatures that run, crawl or fly across fables, tales and bestiaries hardly
ever stand for themselves, but for humans, whose qualities they either symbolize or are shown lacking.
Just as philosophers who denied animals a soul, writers have consistently failed to answer the question
“what is it to be human?” without denigrating other species. In recent years, however, for a variety of
reasons that this seminar will examine, thinkers from all horizons have addressed this failure and
criticized the dualism between humanity and animality as fallacious and ethically intolerable.
This seminar proposes to analyze this shift in 20th and 21st century French fiction. Pondering over the
extinction of the orangutan or the Danaus, envisioning a world taken over by ants or winged humans,
imagining life in Paris with a python, or what it means to kill your husband’s cat, or to morph into a
sow, the writers we will study have redefined the relationship between human and nonhuman animals
in fresh (and often humorous) terms. We will discuss their contribution to some of the most central
debates in human-animal studies (on species extinction, hybridity, animal rights, anthropomorphism,
and pets), as well as literature’s value as a unique way to recognize the nonhuman animal. Course
conducted in French.

Honorine Tellier

Rédaction et aide à la conception du carnet

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