Animal Stories: Narrating across Species Lines

Animal Stories Narrating across Species Lines Beginning with a historical account of why animal stories pose endemic critical challenges to literary and cultural theory Animal Stories argues that key creative developments in narrative form becam

  • Title: Animal Stories: Narrating across Species Lines
  • Author: Susan McHugh
  • ISBN: 9780816670338
  • Page: 381
  • Format: Paperback
  • Beginning with a historical account of why animal stories pose endemic critical challenges to literary and cultural theory, Animal Stories argues that key creative developments in narrative form became inseparable from shifts in animal politics and science in the past century Susan McHugh traces representational patterns specific to modern and contemporary fictions of croBeginning with a historical account of why animal stories pose endemic critical challenges to literary and cultural theory, Animal Stories argues that key creative developments in narrative form became inseparable from shifts in animal politics and science in the past century Susan McHugh traces representational patterns specific to modern and contemporary fictions of cross species companionship through a variety of media including novels, films, fine art, television shows, and digital games to show how nothing less than the futures of all species life is at stake in narrative forms.McHugh s investigations into fictions of people relying on animals in civic and professional life most obviously those of service animal users and female professional horse riders showcase distinctly modern and human animal forms of intersubjectivity But increasingly graphic violence directed at these figures indicates their ambivalent significance to changing configurations of species.Reading these developments with narrative adaptations of traditional companion species relations during this period queer pet memoirs and farm animal fictions McHugh clarifies the intercorporeal intimacies the perforations of species boundaries now proliferating in genetic and genomic science and embeds the representation of animals within biopolitical frameworks.

    One thought on “Animal Stories: Narrating across Species Lines”

    1. A deceptively intriguing title belies the blandness of this scholarly thesis. In an age where academia seems solely focused on whether or not something expresses feminist, LGBT+ or socialist sentiments, with little range for anything else, it's an exciting prospect to come across a study that might catalogue and analyze the roles animals have played in literature, how they have been represented, what role bodily and psychological agency plays in their narratives and how these qualities align wit [...]

    2. Animal Stories takes up an impressive range of twentieth- and twenty-first century narratives, from literature and photography to television and film, to argue against the idea that animals are merely metaphors for humans or “vehicles for expressing human animality” (9). McHugh attributes the success of the novel not to its ability to “give voice to the individual subject of representation,” as Ian Watt and others have argued, but “its usefulness for experiments with multiple perspecti [...]

    3. Liked the focus on the "trend in literary analysis toward reading animals as animals instead of animals as people-metaphors" or symbols or objects. "It requires dramatic reconceptions not only of species and their stories but also of the formal interplay between the two, what I want to call a ‘narrative ethology’ that emphasizes embodied relations of agency and form as distinct from, say, the content through which ethological, fictional, and all other narratives get sorted and shelved as the [...]

    4. Hm, still reading, but the focus on companion animals (service dogs, horses, etc.) is starting to feel a bit too limited already. I'd hoped the book would extend its questions beyond the domestic(ated) sphere at least a bit, and consider wilder animals in literature, too.

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *