Advertisement

© 2019

Animal Perception and Literary Language

Book

Part of the Palgrave Studies in Animals and Literature book series (PSAAL)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xxiv
  2. Donald Wesling
    Pages 1-40
  3. Donald Wesling
    Pages 41-88
  4. Donald Wesling
    Pages 89-129
  5. Donald Wesling
    Pages 213-273
  6. Donald Wesling
    Pages 275-303
  7. Back Matter
    Pages 305-327

About this book

Introduction

Animal Perception and Literary Language shows that the perceptual content of reading and writing derives from our embodied minds. Donald Wesling considers how humans, evolved from animals, have learned to code perception of movement into sentences and scenes. The book first specifies terms and questions in animal philosophy and surveys recent work on perception, then describes attributes of multispecies thinking and defines a tradition of writers in this lineage. Finally, the text concludes with literature coming into full focus in twelve case studies of varied readings. Overall, Wesling's book offers not a new method of literary criticism, but a reveal of what we all do with perceptual content when we read.

Keywords

human and animal animalist thinking animal studies literary animal studies animal philosophy cognitive psychology cognitive literary studies Jacques Derrida embodied mind animals in literature

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.University of California, San DiegoLa JollaUSA

About the authors

Donald Wesling is Professor Emeritus of English Literature at UC San Diego, USA. He has published on Wordsworth, John Muir, Edward Dorn, and Bakhtin; on rhyme, meter, and avant-garde prosody; and on how voice and emotion get into writing. 


Bibliographic information

  • Book Title Animal Perception and Literary Language
  • Authors Donald Wesling
  • Series Title Palgrave Studies in Animals and Literature
  • Series Abbreviated Title Palgrave Studies in Animals and Literature
  • DOI https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-04969-0
  • Copyright Information The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019
  • Publisher Name Palgrave Macmillan, Cham
  • eBook Packages Literature, Cultural and Media Studies Literature, Cultural and Media Studies (R0)
  • Hardcover ISBN 978-3-030-04968-3
  • eBook ISBN 978-3-030-04969-0
  • Edition Number 1
  • Number of Pages XXIV, 327
  • Number of Illustrations 1 b/w illustrations, 0 illustrations in colour
  • Topics Literary Theory
    Ethics
    Cognitive Psychology
  • Buy this book on publisher's site

Reviews

“Animalist perception: it's a radically new topic, carved out of existing theoretical literature.  Donald Wesling has chosen to write on difficult philosophers, and he gives to them clever and understandable readings.  He brings together a tradition out of scattered writings.  He synthesizes an array of perspectives.  Last not least, his titles and subtitles are always witty.” (Enikö Bollobás, Professor of American Studies, Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest)

“Animalist perception: it's a radically new topic, carved out of existing theoretical literature.  Donald Wesling has chosen to write on difficult philosophers, and he gives to them clever and understandable readings.  He brings together a tradition out of scattered writings.  He synthesizes an array of perspectives.  Last not least, his titles and subtitles are always witty.” (Enikö Bollobás, Professor of American Studies, Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest)“The most challenging companion animals are microbes (by billions inside us) and (symbolically) the truly wild animals: tapeworms, wolverines, head lice, krill, rattlesnakes.  The idea that the megafauna are our animal companions, when the biomass is practically entirely bacteria, seems spent.  What I want to read is a radical animal argument bound to perception and feeling—Donald Wesling's project.  Is 'animal' better than Wesling's 'animalist' as either/both adjective/noun?  It felt good to use two sentences back.  What would Derrida say?  For then the human being wouldn't have to be a human being, if it ever could, although it is an animal.”  (John Granger, Lecturer in Literature, University of California, San Diego, USA)

“The book puts perception at the heart of thinking the trio: animality, reading, writing. It extends animal studies by focusing on the phenomenology of perception as event and process in literary and philosophical texts.  It discovers and develops a notion of 'animalist' thinking and gives examples and demonstrations of how one might read in that tradition. It insists on and clarifies links between motion, sense, feeling, thought and writing.... It's [also] nicely-written, zingy but serious.... This will be of interest for years to come as a substantial work of thinking.” (Sarah Wood, author of Without Mastery: Reading and Other Forces (2014))