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Of Zoogrammatology:A Derridean theory of textual animality

Da Silva, José Rodolfo 2017. Of Zoogrammatology:A Derridean theory of textual animality. PhD Thesis, Cardiff University.
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This thesis aims to ‘apply’, as it were, some of Jacques Derrida’s conclusions regarding the age-old distinction between ideal and material to an understanding of animality and how it emerges in texts. I propose the paleonym “arche-animality” to understand the workings of animality in texts. In the field of Literary Animal Studies, some challenging questions concerning animals in texts seem to mirror Derrida’s topics in his early works. On the one hand, we can conceptualise animals as radically different from humans due to their embodiment, but, on the other hand, we can take them to be only differently embodied subjectivities, not unlike the human’s as it is thought to be housed in the body. Both positions are fraught with problems and are, in fact, entangled with the relationship between materiality and ideality. These challenging questions – especially concerning animal embodiment – must be approached with an eye towards paleonymy, the procedure by means of which Derrida was able to propose arche-writing as the origin of both vulgar writing and speech. To demonstrate the appropriateness of paleonymy, I uncover the arche-animal in different texts of different genres and varying degrees of ‘animal presence’: a ‘theoretical’ text (Sigmund Freud’s Totem and Taboo), a film (Darren Arofnosky’s Black Swan), a novel (Clarice Lispector’s The Apple in the Dark), and a poem (Ted Hughes’ ‘The Thought-Fox’).

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Date Type: Completion
Status: Unpublished
Schools: English, Communication and Philosophy
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General)
P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General) > PN0080 Criticism
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 16 May 2018
Last Modified: 29 May 2019 01:48

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