Why Look at Animals? Creaturely Encounters in Philosophy and Literature

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This essay considers encounters with animals in the work of Henry David Thoreau, Stanley Cavell and J. M. Coetzee. More specifically, it explores what it calls ‘poetic’ engagements with animals – engagements in which our relations with nonhuman others are not cast in appropriative or instrumental terms. Along the way, it draws on the work of the American philosopher Cora Diamond. It also takes inspiration from a famous passage from George Eliot’s Middlemarch, and offers a creaturely, environmental reading of some of the ideas invoked in that novel. What, it asks, might it be like to respond to Eliot’s injunction to treat the lives of others with complete seriousness?
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)142-162
JournalForum for Modern Language Studies
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 15 Apr 2017

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  • Centre for Environmental Humanities

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    Dr Michael Malay

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