Seeks-Zoos: some recent correspondence between animals

Turner, Lynn. 2009. Seeks-Zoos: some recent correspondence between animals. In: Johnny Golding, ed. The Issues in Contemporary Culture & Aesthetics. 2-3 University of Greenwich, pp. 10-21. [Book Section]

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Abstract or Description

Writing from a disciplinary base in an ostensibly post-disciplinary department of Visual Cultures, deconstruction seemed to have had had its day, relegated to the dead-end of a formalism that cannot serve renewed faith in creativity (a reading that may be slight but has nevertheless held some ground). Yet stories of Derrida’s cat now abound in discussions of what must now mark one of his most influential, even applauded, essays, and the reception of ‘The Animal That Therefore I Am (More to Follow)’ now readjusts the picture of who or what deconstruction addresses. Derrida’s essays, now published in book form as The Animal That Therefore I am, track the animal/ human distinction as it has infected so much of philosophical discourse. This distinction, in the shadow of Descartes’s influential distinction between reaction and response, banishes ‘the animal’ to the reactive outside of the distilled responsive inner circle of ‘the human.’ Where animal figures do show up in centre court they are yoked to an allegorical leash, constrained to play the human in another guise. This paper assumes some knowledge of Derrida’s steps in The Animal That Therefore I am and follows these in light of the grounds criss-crossed by less commented contemporaneous works.

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Book Section

Related items in GRO:

Early short version
Early short section

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Visual Cultures



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Date Deposited:

14 Oct 2010 09:03

Last Modified:

13 Mar 2021 19:01


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