Abstract

Beginning with Elizabeth Costello's statement to her hosts in J.M. Coetzee's The Lives of Animals concerning her vegetarianism, that it is not an ethical position rather an attempt to save her soul, the essay tries to gloss what she means. Although she seems to be standing up for the fullness of animal being she calls joy, it is clear that is not what she herself experiences when she tries to inhabit a state of passionate immediacy that she believes is the condition of animals in a free state. So tracking back through seventeenth-century ideas of a reflexive sensation, and deploying the insights of Daniel Heller-Roazen's history of the sixth sense, The Inner Touch, I try to show how Coetzee solves this problem of perception, of seeing that we see, or feeling that we feel. And here, I suggest, in this hegemonic state of perception, is salvation is to be found.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1935-0201
Print ISSN
0193-5380
Pages
pp. 69-85
Launched on MUSE
2011-03-19
Open Access
No
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