Article ID: CBB459434748

Mourning Humans and Other Animals through Fictional Taxidermy Collections (2019)


Lydia Millet’s Magnificence (2012) and Henrietta Rose-Innes’s The Green Lion (2015) stage various repurposings of taxidermy collections as acts of mourning that loft fragile alternatives to the melancholia, narcissism, and depression that haunt histories of mass killings. Set at the turn of the twenty-first century, a period marked by what affect theorist Lauren Berlant terms “cruel optimism,” or a perverse desire for the obstacles to flourishing, these novels frame larger questions concerning to what vital effects uses of lifeless bodies frustrate recovery efforts in our time. Telling stories not of single objects of taxidermy but rather of what accrues along with their collections, these novels explore why this particular form of representation proves ripe for decolonizing affective politics at the intersections of genocides, extinctions, and related horrors.

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Authors & Contributors
Thomas, Deborah A.
Hansen, Kathryn Strong
Hughes, Zoe
Gill, Josie
Parikka, Jussi
Sabo, Garth Jerome
Configurations: A Journal of Literature, Science, and Technology
19: Interdisciplinary Studies in the Long Nineteenth Century
Michigan State University
Trent University (Canada)
New York University
Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, New Brunswick
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Science and literature
Literary analysis
Science and art
Poetry and poetics
Saraceno, Tomás
Shelley, Mary Wollstonecraft
Stephenson, Neal
Mayer, Bernadette
Coolidge, Clark
Frost, Robert
United States
Great Britain
Galapagos Islands
21st century
19th century
20th century, late
20th century

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