The Animal Question in Deconstruction

Rafe McGregor

    Research output: Contribution to journalBook/Film/Article review


    Lynn Turner’s research focuses on the significance of species and sexual difference in culture and philosophy and her current work is especially concerned with the relationship between human and non-human animals. The Animal Question in Deconstruction is an exploration of this relationship in eleven essays, eight of which are new, two previously-published (in Nicholas Royle’s The Uncanny [2003] and Kelly Oliver’s Technologies of Life and Death: From Cloning to Capital Punishment [2013]), and one of which appears for the first time in English (‘Un Réfugié’ by Hélène Cixous, initially published in L’Amour du loup et autres remords in 2003). Turner states the anthology’s purpose with admirable precision: “to take Jacques Derrida seriously when he says that he had always been thinking about the company of animals and that deconstruction has never limited itself to language, still less ‘human’ language” (p.2). She notes Derrida’s principal work on the animal question, The Animal That Therefore I Am (a 1997 lecture published in English in 2008), and the recently-translated The Beast and the Sovereign (lectures from 2001 to 2003, published in English in two volumes in 2009 and 2011), but aspires to include Derrida’s previous work and also “to bring Cixous’s thinking on animals to greater attention” (p.4). These varied aims are rather ambitious for such a slim volume and the result is that it is lacking in focus – though the variety in style and substance of contributions need not be prejudicial.
    Original languageEnglish
    Article number8
    Pages (from-to)106-110
    Number of pages5
    JournalBetween the Species
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2015


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