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Humanities 2017, 6(3), 65; doi:10.3390/h6030065

Animal Dystopia in Marie Darrieussecq’s Novel Truismes

Department of Humanities, University of Turku, 20014 Turun yliopisto, Finland
Received: 22 May 2017 / Revised: 3 July 2017 / Accepted: 23 August 2017 / Published: 25 August 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Animal Narratology)
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Abstract

The article focuses on the contemporary French author Marie Darrieussecq’s dystopian novel, Truismes (1996), that contemplates the differential boundaries between human and non-human existence within the scope of contemporary Western metaphysics. The novel challenges the anthropocentric conception of dystopia on the grounds that it is not only a human dystopia; the story centres on a female protagonist whose body begins to turn into a sow. In the novel’s dystopian reality, non-human nature has only capitalistic value in relation to human needs, which has caused a large-scale ecological crisis. For the heroine, the dystopian cityscape is the antagonist that she struggles against; the story represents the sow-woman looking for a better place to live. By giving a narrative voice to an animal, Darrieussecq’s novel urges the reader to identify with the non-human world. The article aims to come to an understanding of the agency beyond the human species. Further, it argues that agency constitutes an entanglement of intra-acting agencies; it is not an attribute of (human) subject or (non-human) object as they do not pre-exist as such separately. Consequently, human and non-human agencies are related to one another; humans are not only affecting the non-human world, but they affect each other in a very profound way. In this, the article contributes to the ongoing interrogation of human relations with non-human agency that is being actively conducted in contemporary Western scientific discourse. The concept of agency also allows participation in discussion about the current ecological crisis. View Full-Text
Keywords: agency; animal; dystopia; Marie Darrieussecq; human; non-human; Truismes agency; animal; dystopia; Marie Darrieussecq; human; non-human; Truismes
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Koponen, P. Animal Dystopia in Marie Darrieussecq’s Novel Truismes. Humanities 2017, 6, 65.

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