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The Animal Question in Deconstruction explores the political and poetic understanding of the deconstruction of the 'animal question'. Re-examining how we relate to other animals has far-reaching implications for how we think of ourselves. The Animal Question in Deconstruction reveals how thinkers on deconstruction, including Jacques Derrida, Helene Cixous and Nicholas Royle, have consistently addressed questions about animality.
Cixous questions human intervention between the death of a wild bird and the predation of a domestic cat. Kelly Oliver explores Derrida's analysis of what or whose gaze is at stake when a King oversees the autopsy of an elephant. Royle examines in what sense the vulnerable impressions made by the tunnelling of a mole might be thought of as the traces of a text. Throughout this collection authors explore the politics, and the poetics, of a less human-centred world. They demonstrate that even when this world is viewed through the prism of fields such as literature, autobiography and philosophy, it always shows traces of other animals. It expands the current debate on the 'animal question' through new essays by established authors, such as Peggy Kamuf, Sarah Wood and Judith Still, that critically examine a wide range of texts by Derrida, Cixous and Royle. It includes the first English translation of 'Un Refugie' by Helene Cixous, showing how her approach to relations between humans and other animals is similar to but distinct from that of Derrida. It republishes Nicholas Royle's ground-breaking essay 'Mole'.
Introduction: This Animal Question in Deconstruction, Lynn Turner
1. A Refugee, Helene Cixous
2. Swans of Life (External Provocations & Autobiographical Flights That Teach Us How to Read), Sarah Wood
3. Love of the Lowe, reading Derrida with a Roar, Marie-Dominique Garnier
4. Insect Asides, Lynn Turner
5. S P O N G E Inc, Laurent Milesi
6. Elephant Eulogy: The Exorbitant Orb of an Elephant, Kelly Oliver
7. Troubling Resemblances, Anthropological Machines & the Fear of Wild Animals: following Derrida after Agamben, Stephen Morton
8. Derrida, Rousseau, Cixous and Tsvetaeva: Sexual Difference and the Love of the Wolf, Judith Still
9. Deconstructing Sexual Difference, A Myopic Reading of Helene Cixous' Mole, Marta Segarra
10. Your Worm, Peggy Kamuf
11. Mole, Nicholas Royle
Lynn Turner is Lecturer in Visual Culture, Goldsmiths, University of London.