Title Page, Copyright

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Contents

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p. v

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Acknowledgments

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pp. vii-viii

The research and writing of this book was supported by various individual and institutional sources. A number of friends and colleagues offered their guidance, both professional and personal, at different stages in the process, including Luis Williams, Peter McKee, Bradley Youngston, Matthew Adler, Elizabeth Freeman...

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Introduction

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pp. 1-21

On February 18, 2009, Sean Delonas published a controversial cartoon in the New York Post depicting two policemen shooting and killing a monkey with the caption: “They’ll have to find someone else to write the next stimulus bill.”1 On the adjoining page was a photo of President Obama signing this very piece of legislation into law. The proximity of these two images, together...

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1 Aping Apes

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pp. 22-49

Can an animal be held accountable for its actions? No matter how counter intuitive, this question follows inevitably from the revelation that an orangutan is the agent behind the horrific deeds perpetrated in Poe’s “The Murders in the Rue....

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2 Slavery’s Bestiary

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pp. 50-73

Brer Rabbit, Brer Fox, Tar-Baby. These names are guaranteed to elicit widely divergent responses from readers. For some, they may conjure up pleasurable childhood memories associated with Disney’s Song of the South (1946), a film that featured...

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3 Autoimmunity and Ante-Racism

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pp. 74-112

The titular “human” of Philip Roth’s The Human Stain slides ambiguously between adjective and noun. Read as an attributive adjective, human is an inherent characteristic of stain (the human stain/the stain is human). Read as a noun-...

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4 Ashamed of Shame

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pp. 113-146

Notwithstanding the above epigraph’s constellation of qualifiers, we can grasp the full irony that Coetzee’s opening sentence intones only retrospectively, that is, only after witnessing the utter collapse of David Lurie’s solution: first when...

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Afterword

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pp. 147-154

An afterword is not precisely a conclusion, a narrative mode of resolution or closure after which nothing more could be said. Rather, an afterword grants a book a certain afterlife, surviving the book’s apparent termination by engaging a...

Notes

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pp. 155-182

Bibliography

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pp. 183-196

Index

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pp. 197-200