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Ansikte mot ansikte: Om etiska kortslutningar i mötet mellan människor och apor – och om skönlitterära motarbeten
Lunds universitet.
2013 (Swedish)In: Edda. Nordisk tidsskrift for litteraturforskning, ISSN 0013-0818, E-ISSN 1500-1989, Vol. 113, no 1, 15-29 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The modernisation of human civilisation demands sacrifices of other species for work, food, clothing, medical research, space exploration – and human self affirmation. To enable the asymmetrical relations, a hierarchical dualism between Man and Animal has been constructed and is maintained by a mechanism of continual differentiation. My aim in this article is to consider how literary fiction may take part in the denaturalisation of this mechanism, named by Giorgio Agamben as the ”anthropological machine”. For this purpose I highlight five different meetings between apes and humans, as narrated in Swedish novels from the last decades, and analyse them from an ethical and animal discourse point of view. My readings demonstrate how literature can call acute attention to the recurrent human blockage of the face of the animal other, and to the emotional unsettlement evoked by this act. Hereby, I argue, the human/animal divide is put into question as a relevant basis of ethical decision.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. Vol. 113, no 1, 15-29 p.
Keyword [en]
apes, Human–animal studies, animal ethics of encounter, contemporary literature, anthropological machine, carnophallogocentrism
National Category
Languages and Literature
URN: urn:nbn:se:sh:diva-27748OAI: diva2:822326
Available from: 2015-06-16 Created: 2015-06-16 Last updated: 2015-06-18Bibliographically approved

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Björck, Amelie
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