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Recovering and Reconstructing Animal Selves in Literary Autozoographies

  • Frederike Middelhoff
Chapter
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Animals and Literature book series (PSAAL)

Abstract

The chapter discusses animal autobiographies as “literary autozoographies” and demonstrates how these stories engage with animal selves, while reflecting and affecting zoological knowledge concerning specific animal species. Outlining the functions of literary autozoographies, the chapter sketches context-sensitive, zoopoetical approaches to taking animal autobiographies as a starting point to reconstruct animal lives and selves. The German Romantic E.T.A. Hoffmann’s The Life and Opinions of the Tomcat Murr (1819/21) is taken as a case in point to show not only how the text negotiates and redefines natural history’s meaning and consideration of cats’ selves but also how literary autozoographies may incorporate extra-textual human-animal relationships, drawing out attention to traces and acknowledgments of animal selves.

Keywords

Literary autozoographies Animal autobiography Natural history Poetics of knowledge E.T.A. Hoffmann 

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Frederike Middelhoff
    • 1
  1. 1.Julius-Maximilians-UniversityWürzburgGermany

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