Dogdom: Nonhuman Others and the Othered Self in Kafka, Beckett and Auster

Anderton, Joseph (2016) Dogdom: Nonhuman Others and the Othered Self in Kafka, Beckett and Auster. Twentieth-Century Literature, 62 (3). pp. 271-288. ISSN 0041-462X

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Focusing on Franz Kafka’s “Investigations of a Dog” (1922), Samuel Beckett’s Molloy (1955), and Paul Auster’s Timbuktu (1999), this essay reflects on how these works represent the fundamental unknowability of animal perspectives while at the same time suggesting how dogs and humans still remain close. I make the claim that, as with speaking in place of another, speaking for oneself also entails the production of an other, and that these efforts to read and give voices to dogs point toward the rupture of the self-reflective human subject. In featuring their failed attempts to write canines, these works succeed in writing the human ignorance of nonhuman animal worlds, but they also expose the fissure within human autobiography itself.

Item Type: Article
Identification Number:
1 September 2016Published
Subjects: CAH19 - language and area studies > CAH19-01 - English studies > CAH19-01-01 - English studies (non-specific)
Divisions: Faculty of Arts, Design and Media > Birmingham Institute of Media and English > School of English
Depositing User: Dr. Joseph Anderton
Date Deposited: 29 Aug 2017 14:27
Last Modified: 12 Jan 2022 16:26

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