Creatural Fictions explores how twentieth- and twenty-first-century literary texts engage with relationships between humans and other animals. Written by forward-thinking early-career scholars, as well as established experts in the field, the chapters discuss key texts in the emergent canon of animal narratives, including Franz Kafka's animal stories, Yann Martel's The Life of Pi, Zakes Mda's The Whale Caller, and others. Creatural Fictions is divided into four main sections. Two period-focused sections center on modernism and on late-twentieth- and twenty-first-century fiction, while two further sections foreground the more general project of theory building in literary animal studies, examining interconnections among concepts of species, sexuality, gender, and genre. Creatural Fictions also raises issues that extend beyond the academic community, including ethical dimensions of human-animal relationships and the problems of species loss and diminishing biodiversity.
Introduction: Literature beyond the Human; David Herman
PART I: LITERARY MODERNISMS, ANIMAL WORLDS, AND TRANS-SPECIES ENTANGLEMENTS
1. Kafka's Animal Stories: Modernist Form and Inter-species Narrative; Marianne DeKoven
2. The Tortured Animals of Modernity: Animal Studies and Italian Literature; Damiano Benvegnu
3. The Black Sheep: Djuna Barnes's Dark Pastoral; Andrew Kalaidjian
PART II: LITERATURE BEYOND THE HUMAN I: SPECIES, SEXUALITY, AND GENDER
4. "Becoming Men" and Animal Sacrifice: Contemporary Literary Examples; Josephine Donovan
5. A Tail for Two Theorists: The Problem of the Female Monster in Katherine Dunn's Geek Love; Rajesh K. Reddy
6. Friendship; or, Representing More-than-Human Subjectivities and Spaces in J. R. Ackerley's My Dog Tulip; Shun Yin Kiang
PART III: LITERATURE BEYOND THE HUMAN II: HUMAN-ANIMAL INTERACTIONS ACROSS GENRES
7. "A Little Wildness": Negotiating Relationships between Human and Nonhuman in Historical Romance; Christy Tidwell
8. Animal Worlds and Anthropological Machines in Yann Martel's Millennial Novel Life of Pi; Hilary Thompson
9. "Like Words Printed on Skin": Desire, Animal Masks, and Multispecies Relationships in Monique Truong's The Book of Salt; Nandini Thiyagarajan
PART IV: HUMAN-ANIMAL ENTANGELEMENTS IN LATE TWENTIETH AND EARLY TWENTY-FIRST FICTION
10. Horsescapes: Space, Nation, and Human-Horse Relations in Jane Smiley's Horse Heaven; Jopi Nyman
11. Animal Others, Other People: Exploring Cetacean Personhood in Zakes Mda's The Whale Caller; Craig Smith
12. Ghostly Presences: Tracing the Animal in Julia Leigh's The Hunter; Roman Bartosch
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David Herman is Professor of the Engaged Humanities at Durham University, UK. His previous books include Basic Elements of Narrative and Storytelling and the Sciences of Mind.