In reading Cosslett’s Animal Autobiographies I was interested in the idea of the audience/purpose of the stories. She talks about the majority of these books being addressed to children “as part of their education in sympathy” but also points out a few times the way some of these stories are addressed to adults to engender their sympathies for animals or for other groups that animals are being a stand in for. I wonder about how these two distinct audiences for authors that have a specific motive with their stories changes both the narrative but also the way the animal perspective is crafted.
In reading Le Guin’s taxonomy I was wondering a few things. She starts in the beginning discussing our kinship with animals and how “animals are always the elders, the forerunners, the ancestors of the humans.” I would have liked to hear more how this idea of ancestry shows up in the stories she discusses, and if it’s different in the different pieces of the taxonomy she lays out. I also was left wondering about some of her taxonomy and the distinctions between real and fantasy animal stories is being explored as the field of animal studies is being expanded. For example would Fraustino think about anthropomorphism differently in The Sword and the Stone or His Dark Materials?
Hi Rose, Great questions. I can see the dual audience in action too…in some ways I feel that the supposed address to children in these pro-animal texts often functions as a pre-text to reach a primarily adult audience. I like your question about LeGuin a lot…there are many insights in her lecture, but it often falls short of more recent insights from animal studies. I chose it largely because it throws out a lot of book titles, and I felt that might be useful at this stage! CH