2/23 Questions

-“There is no explanation, no justifying of this anthropomorphism in most of the books that do it. They simply assume it will be accepted; and it is.” (LeGuin 25)
Why is it so that justification is often not needed for the use of anthropomorphism? Is this the case only in children’s literature? (Because the use of anthropomorphic representation is imbued with very different meanings in adult literature, especially postcolonial literature.) Is it because the reader can just assume that they’re merely reading a product of “pure literary convention”?

-What do we make of the phrase “translated from the equine”? If the text, as Cosslett suggests on pg. 69, does exist in some other form (which perhaps is intelligible to us) and that the story is a piece of “translation”—does this impact the way we read Black Beauty?

-I’ve found the use of religion/ religious language in Black Beauty quite interesting. Does it change our reception of the book if the references to spiritual/religious elements are omitted? How?

2 thoughts on “2/23 Questions

  1. Ruwanthi Edirisinghe

    Upon reading Black Beauty against the backdrop of the critical work of Cosset made me think about the broader ideological implications of reading ‘Animal Autobiography’ as an analogy for human stories. If literature, with its “unique and unverifiable” (Spivak) way of conceiving things has the capacity to overturn and contest oppressive hegemonic discourses, then how do we grapple with animal autobiography as genre and its attempts to establish itself as verifiable content by standing in, so to speak, for the real world politics of humans by lending itself to be read as a form of analogy, almost by default?

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