The Cloth of Man. Contribution to a Study on the Human-Animal Pathos
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The main question of my paper—inspired by Aby Warburg’s notion of Pathosformeln and his reading of Darwin’s The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animal— is how animals can represent pathos of human experience in a way, which humanistic, purely anthropocentric forms of expression can no longer account for. In order to present my argument I would like to analyse three examples from literature. Rainer Maria Rilke’s Malte, Thomas Bernhard’s Distortion and W. G. Sebald’s Austerlitz. In all three cases animal are necessary to express human pathos but the intensity of this expression seems to go far beyond the limits of the traditional human-animal division.
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