The State of the Kitchen: Incorporation and “Animanomaly” in Scotland, PA and the BBC Shakespeare Retold Macbeth

  • Maurizio Calbi
Part of the Reproducing Shakespeare: New Studies in Adaptation and Appropriation book series (RESH)


In an interview with Jean-Luc Nancy, Jacques Derrida underlines the dominant “carnivorous” and “sacrificial” structure of the human subject: “The subject does not want just to master and possess nature actively. In our cultures he accepts sacrifice and eats flesh.” Playing on the double meaning of the French word chef (i.e., chef as the head of the kitchen; chef as the political head of a state), he adds: “The chef must be an eater of flesh (with a view, moreover, to being ‘symbolically’ eaten himself)” (“‘Eating Well’” 114).1 Derrida’s somewhat elliptic—almost Freudian—observations suggest that sovereignty, including sovereignty over one’s self, has to do with eating the “other,” and that this incorporation—a “symbolic” operation when the human animal is involved; a “real” and “symbolic” one in the case of the nonhuman animal (112)—is by its very nature made of repeated performances.2 Like each and every act of violent foundation, incorporation is not achieved once and for all, not least because it is irresistibly haunted by the specter of that which is being incorporated. Moreover, as Derrida parenthetically remarks, it is potentially reversible.


Nonhuman Animal Detective Serial Human Animal Garbage Collector Partial Incorporation 
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© Maurizio Calbi 2013

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  • Maurizio Calbi

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