“Against the Dog Only a Dog”. Talking Canines Civilizing Cynicism in Cervantes’ “coloquio de los perros” (With Tentative Remarks on the Discourse and Method of Animal Studies)
1. Cherchez La Bête (Humaine): With Respect to Animal Narration
Diogenes […] disait […] C’est celui qui me traite et nourrit qui me sert,et ceux qui entretiennent [les] bêtes se doivent dire plutôt les servir qu’en être servis.
natürlich nur tentativ
These protestations of verity and (deictic) emphases take place—and the cat exists—in language: “the cat said to be real” (p. 378) by a speaker, and potentially perceived as such by a recipient taking a semiotically mediated as an actual cat.14 In (always) other words: “It is an animal of reading and rewriting” (p. 406).I must make it clear from the start, the cat I am talking about is a real cat, truly, believe me, a little cat. It isn’t the figure of a cat. It doesn’t silently enter the room as an allegory for all the cats on the earth […] that is truly a little cat, this cat I am talking about[.]
2. The Novellas in Question: “The Deceitful Marriage”, “The Dogs’ Colloquy”
púselo en forma de coloquio
3. The Linguistico-Textual Setting: An Age of Rhetoric Across Europe
Así va el mundo
4. The Narrative Framework: Crafting Plausibility in “The Deceitful Marriage”
Auffällig ist […] die komplizierte Rahmentechnik.
para hacer memoria […] y para desengaño
He also expressly asks Peralta to “be prepared to believe it”, “se acomode a creerlo” (Cervantes 2016a, p. 444; Cervantes 2002b, p. 293), describing himself as an earwitness of an all but vivid event: “yo oí y casi vi con mis ojos”—as he admits, Campuzano never actually sees the dogs talking, inferring the fact from what he hears, “a poco rato vine a conocer, por lo que hablaban, los que hablaban” (Cervantes 2002b, p. 293).50I still have other events [‘sucesos’] to relate to you that surpass the human imagination [‘exceden a toda imaginación’], seeing as how they go beyond the very limits of the natural order of things [‘fuera de todos los términos de naturaleza’].
Between these two reciprocal passages occurs the most effective rhetorical move, similarly structured along an articulated act of apparent self-persuasion via argument in utramque partem.55 Peralta having voiced his view to the effect that Campuzano be telling tall tales, the latter immediately concedes, but only to deliberately reassert his sensorial confidence, his faith in the power of words to craft credence, his willingness to intersubjectively suspend his judgment (“mi verdad”) yet again—culminating in a rhetorical question regarding his interlocutor’s attested desire for a narrative’s delightful function:almost in the exact same words [‘casi por las mismas palabras’] that I had heard spoken, I transcribed it the next day, refraining from trying to adorn it [‘adornarlo’] with any sort of rhetorical coloring [‘colores retóricas’], and neither adding nor removing anything just to improve its flavor [‘para hacerle gustoso’].
As with all things in nature, the strongest argument is always pleasure.56 Peralta immediately falls into the rhetorical trap, believes the attempts at persuasion to be of the past, and consents:But supposing [‘Pero puesto caso’], maybe, that I have been deceived [‘engañado’], and that what seems real is actually a dream [‘y que mi verdad sea sueño’] […]—even so, would not your honor […] like [‘se holgará’] to see written down, in the form of a colloquy, the conversation between those two dogs, whoever or whatever they really are [‘o sean quien fueren’]?
All the while, the reader is fully aware that Campuzano has just left the hospital, apparently after a rather laborious treatment (“I underwent the sweatbox cure forty times”), suggesting that he had not exactly been in control of his senses at all times (Cervantes 2016a, p. 443; cf. p. 434; Cervantes 2002b, pp. 282, 282n.). The ensign’s preemptive giving of (quasi-empirical, medico-nutritional) reasons for his asserted attention to detail and acoustico-textual fidelity might thus be received as (highly) ironic—pleasing the reader into persuasion, into a considerable readiness for (being) taking in (by) what follows in the coloquio:As long as your honor […] doesn’t waste any more time trying to persuade me [‘persuadirme’] that you really heard two dogs talking, I will right gladly listen to [‘de muy buena gana oiré’] this colloquy, which I already judge to be good [‘juzgo por bueno’], seeing that it has been composed and written down as the product of his honor the ensign’s notable literary talent [‘buen ingenio’].
Another inverted echo—the animal rationale here behaves (“todo lo tomé de coro”) like the ‘verisimilitudinous’ avians: “toman de memoria” (Cervantes 2002b, p. 294). Given all of the above, the intratextual reader plausibly takes the tale as an occasion for delight: “the licentiate […] accepted the notebook, laughing [‘riyéndose’] and acting as if he were making fun [‘como haciendo burla’] of everything he had heard, and everything he was about to read” (Cervantes 2016a, p. 446; Cervantes 2002b, p. 295).since I was being so attentive, my intellect [‘juicio’] was really keyed up [‘delicado’], and my memory [‘memoria’] was sensitive [‘delicada’], subtle, and completely unencumbered (thanks to the numerous raisins and almonds that I had consumed), I got it all down by heart [‘todo lo tomé de coro’].
5. A Tale of Hounds and Humans, by Hounds, for Humans: Animal Narration in “The Dogs’ Colloquy”
man alone of the animals possesses speech.
Analogously to the ensign’s aforesaid assertion of his sensory perception, Berganza declares:there’s no reason for the two of us to start arguing [‘disputar’] about how or why we’re talking. […] let us take advantage [‘aprovecharnos’] of this happy situation, and talk all night […] I intend to enjoy myself and take advantage [‘gozarle y aprovecharme’] of it [sc. this gift of speech] as much as I can[.]
The extratextual recipient might take a structurally equivalent stance (at a metalevel): while animal narrators are not exactly likely, this need not deter the reader from deriving some benefit from the text, whether in terms of delectare, movere, docere (or otherwise)—with the colloquy accommodating each and all of these potential approaches (Einstellungen).63 In the present case, the function of delectare (the enjoyment promised) envelops that of docere (the message conveyed); while the latter is apparently not how the intratextual reader (Peralta) peruses the novella, (present-day) extratextual recipients may tend to focus particularly on the socio-moral, historico-cultural, epistemological, or zoopoetic—cf. (Derrida 2002, p. 374)—information simultaneously imparted.64I […] believe that everything we’ve undergone up to this point, and what we’re undergoing right now, is a dream [‘todo (…) es sueño’], and that we are, in fact, dogs. But let us not for all that refrain from enjoying [‘gozar’] this gift of speech which we have been given, and the exceeding excellence of possessing human powers of reason, for as long as we possibly can.
6. Concerning Cynicism: ‘Diogenes the Dog’ and the Cervantine Canines
no en el sentido alegórico, sino en el literal
todo cuanto decimos es murmurar.
At the metalevel, the choice has been precisely for dogs speaking ‘wisely’ (literally: to and with each other, in their capacity as canines, and in what is, to their knowledge, an ‘intraspecies’ colloquy)—and not for other, equally conceivable entities (else one might as well think of two owls, horses, or elephants); it is a discourse historically motivated selection, as the following will demonstrate.72The things they talked about [‘trataron’] were important and diverse [‘grandes y diferentes’], and more aptly debated [‘tratadas’] by wise men [‘varones sabios’] than spoken out of the mouths of dogs [‘dichas por bocas de perros’]. So that, since I could never have made up [‘inventar’] these utterances on my own, I have come to believe [‘vengo a creer’], in spite of myself and against my better judgment [‘contra mi opinión’], that I have not been dreaming [‘soñaba’], and that the dogs have been, in fact, talking.
A comparison with the terse Diogenical anecdote, attention to the discursive implications conveyed by contrast, are needful, as the above sets the scene for all that follows in terms of animal narration in the coloquio—hence also for a potential reception in this respect.86 Initially, one might log the alterations: midday vs. night, ostensively undue or prodigal vs. functional employment of (artificial) sources of light, apparently gratuitous vs. conducive, purposive objective, resplendent futility of endeavor vs. attainment. Asking for alms is also part of the agenda dependably attached to the arch-Cynic’s literary persona since Antiquity—as in this notorious instance: “He once begged alms of a statue, and, when asked why he did so, replied, ‘To get practice in being refused’” (D. Laertius 2005, p. 51, VI.49).87 The tendency differs considerably from that of the Cervantine canines; their collecting of alms is set in a Christian—socio-morally sanctioned, rather than willful (even frivolous)—context.two dogs […] go around at night with the brothers of the Order of St. John of God, lighting the way with a pair of lanterns [‘lanternas’]. […] if perchance someone tosses alms out of a window, […] the dogs go up to it right away, shedding light [‘alumbrar’] with their lanterns, to see what has fallen. And they tend to stop in front of the windows which they know [‘saben’] to be places where people are in the habit of [‘tienen costumbre de’] giving them alms [‘darles limosna’]. And out on the street like that, the two dogs behave so meekly [‘mansedumbre’] that they seem [‘parecen’] more like lambs [‘corderos’] than dogs; back in the hospital, however, they are veritable lions [‘leones’], protecting [‘guardando’] the building with extreme care and vigilance [‘cuidado y vigilancia’].
Again, the Cervantine text—staging the hospital’s environment as a quasi-micro-pólis—provides a catchword, “guardando” (Cervantes 2002b, p. 293) to support the signaling of this intertext, echoed at several levels (semantic, structural) in the coloquio.90 In both Plato and Cervantes, the respective dogs are textual canines, but precisely in their capacity as animals; the recipient is to (and likely will) visualize virtual dogs, based on her experience with tangible, olfactible ones. Even so, the necessary presence of this literal level does not signify that—at the discursive level concurrently present—the natural, factually observable conduct of dogs could not also have further implications (as is the case in both texts). In other words: not only does a discursive reading not efface the literal plane; but the former actually depends on the latter.Where shall we find a gentle and stouthearted [‘praon kaì megalóthymon’] character together? […] surely gentleness of nature and strong spirits are opposing qualities. […] Yet whichever of these qualities you removed, the result would never be a good guardian [‘phýlax agathòs’]. […] there are natural dispositions […] which have these opposing qualities. […] We may see it in other animals [‘állois zóois’], not least in the one we compared to our guardian. I’m sure you know about dogs with good breeding [‘ton gennaíon kynon’]: that their character [‘ethos’] is naturally to be able to be most friendly to those they are used to and recognize, but the opposite with those they don’t know. […] Then this is possible […] and we are not looking for our guardian to be the type that contradicts nature [‘ou parà phýsin’]. […] he who is going to be watchful [‘ho phylakikòs’] still lacks something: in addition to being strong-spirited, he must be naturally interested in philosophy[.] […] You will also see this in dogs, something that deserves our admiration in the animal. […] at the sight of someone unknown to it, it becomes aggressive, even if it hasn’t had an adverse experience before. But whoever it sees that it recognizes, it welcomes them even if it has never been treated well by that person […] this natural instinct of the animal makes it seem clever [‘kompsón’] and truly a philosopher [‘alethos philósophon’] […] in that it distinguishes what it sees as either friendly or hostile [‘phílen kaì echthràn’], by no other means than being familiar with the one and not recognizing the other. Yet how could it not be eager to learn[,] when it can distinguish by what it knows and what it does not know what belongs to its world [‘oikeion’] and what is alien [‘allótrion’] to it? […] is [not] passion for knowledge [‘philomathès’] the same thing as the passion for wisdom [‘philósophon’]? […] In that case, let’s […] apply it to mankind as well.
Man, the Cynic has made all mankind his children […] in that spirit he approaches them all and cares for them all. Or do you fancy that it is in the spirit of idle impertinence he reviles those he meets? It is as a father he does it, as a brother, and as a servant of Zeus, who is Father of us all.
above all, the Cynic’s governing principle should be purer than the sun; if not, he must needs be a gambler and a man of no principle, because he will be censuring the rest of mankind, while he himself is involved in some vice.
Displaying a monodirectional, didactico-moralizing impetus, an assertive air of authority, the Stoic thus tries to impose his view of how matters should be. With differences in tone and semblances in tendency, the Cervantine coloquio features the ensuing agenda:the true Cynic […] must know that he has been sent by Zeus to men, partly as a messenger [‘ángelos’], in order to show them that in questions of good and evil they have gone astray […]; and partly […] as a scout [‘katáskopos’]. For the Cynic is truly a scout, to find out what things are friendly to men and what hostile; and he must first do his scouting accurately, and on returning must tell the truth[.]
The translation of “murmurar”, “murmuración”, “murmuradores” as “gossip” seems infelicitous, here; for such arguably mitigates the term’s impact, obscuring the import of the discursive reference to the history of reception and various refunctionalizations of cynicism.95 The damage (potentially) done by the tongue—“speaking ill” (“decir mal”)—is a leitmotif throughout (Cervantes 2016b, p. 466; Cervantes 2002a, p. 315).96 Moreover, such forms of articulation are stably attached to cynicism from its outset, due to the contumelious conduct of the arch-Cynic ‘Diogenes’: “He was great at pouring scorn on his contemporaries” (D. Laertius 2005, p. 27, VI.24).97You think gossiping [‘murmurar’, implying harm done: ‘slandering’, ‘maligning’, ‘censuring’] is the same as philosophizing [‘filosofar’]? There you go! Canonize it, […] Berganza, that cursed plague of gossip [‘la maldita plaga de la murmuración’], and give it whatever name you like, and that will give us a reputation for being cynics [‘cínicos’], which is the same as saying ‘gossip-mongering dogs’ [‘perros murmuradores’].
After a section chastising the ostentatious, non-pertinent, erroneous use of Latin for purposes of signaling erudition—see (Cervantes 2002a, pp. 318–19)—Scipio offers the abovequoted reproof, cautioning against gaining a reputation for being “cínicos” qua “perros murmuradores” (p. 319).Beware, Berganza, lest that urge to philosophize [‘esa gana de filosofar’] you say has come over you be some temptation sent to you by the devil. Because slander [‘murmuración’] has no better veil for glossing over and covering up its dissolute wickedness [‘su maldad disoluta’] than the slanderer’s [‘murmurador’] giving to understand that everything he says is a matter of philosophical opinion [‘sentencias de filósofos’], and that speaking ill [‘decir mal’] amounts to moral censure [‘reprehensión’], and revealing [‘descubrir’] other people’s flaws [‘defetos’] is only righteous zeal. And there is no slanderer [‘murmurante’] whose life, if you consider and scrutinize it, is not full of vice [‘vicios’] and contempt for others [‘insolencias’].
7. ‘Against the Dog only a Dog’: Talking Canines Humanizing Cynicism
qué quiere decir filosofía; que aunque yo la nombro, no sé lo que es;sólo me doy a entender que es cosa buena.
Concurrently present with the (socio-historically, zoopoetically plausible) literal plane, the concept of (visually induced) imitatio appears to be patent at a discursive level.106 The dogs, as animals, seem ‘humanized’ (qua process)—especially Berganza. Still, he is not presented (respectively: does not represent himself) as an idealized specimen—even after joining the hospital crew.107 Throughout his (narrated) life, he often acts in not exactly ethical ways: partly (and plausibly) due to his factually canine nature—see (Schmauser 1996, pp. 78–79); in part because his behavior as animal always seems influenced by human (while not strictly humane) conduct—with the doctrinal root of this (‘fallen’) state of affairs being explicit.108 Even so, Berganza’s actions are humanized (at a metalevel) in that he does not partake in ‘man’s inhumanity’—on account of his kind caninity (as commonly conceived); and since he ties in with human(ist) values otherwise (considered) inaccessible to an animal, such as moral philosophical musings of the following nature: “premeditated vengeance bespeaks cruelty and a spiteful disposition” (Cervantes 2016b, p. 506).109one night, seeing you [‘viéndote’] carrying a lantern [‘llevar la linterna’] in the company of that good Christian, Mahudes, I perceived you to be contented, virtuous, and engaged in pious actions [‘contento y justa y santamente ocupado’]. And, full of righteous envy [‘buena envidia’], I sought to follow in your footsteps [‘quise seguir tus pasos’], and with this laudable intention I presented myself to Mahudes, who straightaway chose me to be your companion and brought me to this hospital.
While freely admitting to his shortcomings and not abandoning his canine nature, Berganza (at the literal level, in his textually natural capacity qua dog) does indeed do his part throughout (not only at the hospital)—mostly (alleging that he is) acting more ‘humanely’ (in a humanist acceptation) than ostensive ‘humans’ (in the textual realm he crafts in his capacity as narrator, and by way of his narrative).112 Even so (one might conjecture, at a metalevel), a human being—while not able to give up its flawed nature (in the orthodox view)—may play its part for the time being.since it was easier for me to perceive all these things than to reform them, I decided not to pay any attention to them. I therefore sought refuge in a sanctuary, as so many do when they renounce vices when they can no longer practice them, although it’s better late than never.
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“Diogenes […] said: ‘[…] it is the man who keeps and feeds me who is my slave’. And those who keep animals should be said rather to serve them than to be served by them” (Montaigne 1989, p. 338, II.12). Such patterns of (perspectival) inversion—grounded in the apparently human potential for ‘virtually taking another (including: an other’s) point of view also’—have been particularly characteristic of cynically inflected discourses, from ‘Diogenes’ via (for instance) Machiavelli, to Nietzsche, and beyond. Since the condition of possibility for this notional process of inversion is an awareness as to contingency—that things might as well be (seen to be) otherwise—this tendency is constitutively not monodirectional; hence a perceived cynic such as Feuerbach might turn a characteristically cynical maxim into this: “The other is per se the mediator between me and the […] species. Homo homini Deus est” (Feuerbach 1976, p. 189, I; trans. dsm); “the highest and first law [‘must’] be the love of [a hu]man [being] for [hu]man[kind] [‘des Menschen zum Menschen’]. Homo homini deus est – this is the supreme practical principle” (Feuerbach 1976, p. 318, II; trans. dsm). The style of the Humanities journal does not permit references in the abstract, hence the names of the authors were used therein; the respective references are (in order of appearance): (Ziolkowski 1983, p. 95); (Derrida 2002, p. 374); cf. (Alves 2014; Alves 2011; both passim), (Beusterien 2016, passim), (Martín 2012; Martín 2004, both passim); see (Blumenberg 2006a, p. 596). Moreover, the journal’s style stipulates the repetition of author names in successive mentions, as well as the doubling of parentheses for formatting reasons; the respective changes (including errors potentially incurred in the converting process) pertain to the procedures of copy editing, and were beyond the author’s influence; the reader’s lenience with regard to the appearance of the layout is requested.
Cf. Montaigne’s observation: “Since animals are born, beget, feed, act, move, live, and die in a manner so close to our own” (Montaigne 1989, p. 345, II.12)—with these similarities serving (also) as a basis for, and with a view to, potentially taking other perspectives. Schopenhauer later reiterates the Vedantic “Mahavakya, i.e. the great word” (Schopenhauer 1988, p. 295, III, §44; trans. dsm) as an imperative: “‘Tat twam asi!’ (‘This are you!’)” (p. 483, IV, §66; trans. dsm)—while accentuating the conduct to result from this insight: “thus he will also not torture any animal” (p. 481, IV, §66; trans. dsm). Generally, see the ostentative self-evidence implied in assertions such as: “The capacity for moral conduct signifies an obligation to conduct [oneself] morally, especially also with respect to animals” (Benz-Schwarzburg 2015, p. 248; trans. dsm). Seeing that Animal Studies may seem to have a tendency to focus virtually all of their critical attention on Cartesian(izing) currents (while largely disregarding other philosophico-discursive strands, including the cynical), Schopenhauer’s ethics might not have received the consideration it would appear to merit (in this particular field).
“Der Mensch ist ein extremer Standpunktwechsler” (Blumenberg 2006b, p. 879). Cf. and contrast Benz-Schwarzburg on de Waal’s views concerning the human “capacity for cognitively taking the position of another” (Benz-Schwarzburg 2015, pp. 247–48; trans. dsm). See Dopico Black’s reference to “Coetzee[’s]” putting the following words in “Costello[’s]” mouth: “[‘]there is no limit to the extent to which we can think ourselves into the being of another[’]” (Dopico Black 2010, p. 245); on the reception of the latter, see (Bühler-Dietrich and Weingarten 2016, pp. 8–10). In this respect, cf. Boehrer on Ruskin’s notion of the “pathetic fallacy” qua “invest[ing] the natural world with the observer’s own passions” (Boehrer 2010, p. 2; cf. pp. 3, 11–12).
A corollary of taking other perspectives is their factual plurality; hence a (citational) pluralization of approaches is requisite in any descriptive form of scholarship. Blumenberg accentuates that “fast alles, was wir überhaupt wissen, die Bedingtheit der Hypothese hat. Die Stärke der Hypothese kann nur in ihrer Konkurrenzfähigkeit mit anderen Hypothesen liegen. Sie macht jedes Wissenschaftssystem wesensmäßig pluralistisch—und das auch mit der Philosophie” (Blumenberg 2006b, p. 161). For the context at hand, cf. “No less than feminist, Marxist, post-colonial, structuralist, and formalist approaches, a literary criticism perspective on animal issues is a point of view, a form of consciousness, a way to read any work of fiction” (Shapiro and Copeland 2005, p. 343). As to the period in question, Enenkel/Smith emphasize the “variety of discourses on animals among early modern scientists, writers and artists” (Enenkel and Smith 2007, p. 12).
For Montaigne’s observations concerning animals with respect to humankind, see spec. (Montaigne 1989, pp. 330–58, II.12). For comparable instances of perspectival inversion, see spec. “This defect that hinders communication between them and us, why is it not just as much ours as theirs? It is a matter of guesswork whose fault it is that we do not understand one another; for we do not understand them any more than they do us. By this same reasoning they may consider us beasts, as we consider them. It is no great wonder if we do not understand them; neither do we understand the Basques […] We must notice the parity there is between us. We have some mediocre understanding of their meaning; so do they of ours, in about the same degree. They flatter us, threaten us, and implore us, and we them” (Montaigne 1989, p. 331, II.12; cf. p. 344); see also (Fudge 2006, p. 118); as to the “parity”, cf. “this equality and correspondence between us and the beasts” (Montaigne 1989, p. 354, II.12). On the whole, Montaigne’s Essais tender a dense (Early Modern) summa—an eclectic aggregate of (virtual, historical, proto-empirical) observations, common knowledge, judicious citations, inherited arguments, perceived facts on myriad subject matters (including animals), gathered by way of reading and (purported, personal, vicarious) experience—from a variety of sources, both Ancient and contemporary, collective and private. Cf. “Montaignes Essais sind eine Summe der Vielheit. Diversité ist das Stichwort […] durch alle Essais […] Panorama der Vielheit” (Stierle 1987, p. 424); see also (Küpper 1990, p. 272). On the changing knowledge concerning animals during “the early modern period”—triggered by “[t]he discovery of the new world”, its “dissemination” considerably “reinforced by the printing press”—see (Enenkel and Smith 2007, p. 1).
With regard to “Montaigne’s […] Apology for Raymond Sebond” in general, Derrida states: “You will recognize that as one of the greatest pre- or anti-Cartesian texts on the animal” (Derrida 2002, p. 375; cf. spec. p. 375n.). In this respect, cf. Cummings: “Pliny left in place a countertradition on the question of animal rationality that Montaigne and others could still draw on” (Cummings 2004, p. 182); “the violence of Descartes’s response, […] Descartes’s denial of animal language[,] can hardly be understood outside its context in a specific refutation of Montaigne and his sympathizers. […] Sorabji surmises that Descartes went as far as he did only because of what Montaigne had said” (p. 180); cf. “‘I cannot share the opinion of Montaigne and others who attribute understanding or thought to animals’. Descartes […] 1646”, qtd. in (Cummings 2004, p. 185n.). In this respect, the following Cartesian assertion ties in refutatively with Montaigne (as qtd. above): “Et on ne doit pas […] penser, comme quelques anciens, que les bêtes parlent, bien que nous n’entendions pas leur langage: car s’il était vrai, puisqu’elles ont plusieurs organes qui se rapportent aux nôtres, elles pourraient aussi bien se faire entendre à nous qu’à leurs semblables” (Descartes 1969, p. 94, V.11, §59). For positions on Montaigne in the field of Animal Studies generally, see e.g., (Boehrer 2009, p. 545); (Boehrer 2010, p. 7); (Alves 2014, p. 272); (Enenkel and Smith 2007, pp. 11–12, with further references); (Fudge 2007, pp. 42–45); (Fudge 2006, pp. 78, 96, 117–122); (Perfetti 2011, pp. 148–49, 163–64); on “Pliny’s elephant”, “Montaigne’s cat”, Descartes, and Derrida, see also (Cummings 2004, pp. 179–81, here 179). For a “representative but not exhaustive” (Wolfe 2009, p. 572n.) overview of seminal publications in animal studies until 2009, see (Wolfe 2009, passim); for a succinct outline of (particularly) formative texts, cf. (Boehrer 2009, p. 543). Concerning “the degree to which an animal is presented true to himself or herself”, see (Shapiro and Copeland 2005, p. 344). Generally, cf. the formulations: “the animality of the animal […] its presence as meaningful in itself” (Fudge 2004, p. 7); “die Tiere selbst, das Tier-Sein der Tiere“ (Bühler-Dietrich and Weingarten 2016, p. 7; cf. pp. 12–14); “dass die Tiere nicht für sich selbst, sondern aus der menschlichen Perspektive gesehen werden” (Mussner 2015, p. 174; cf. p. 162); “Freud did not let the dog be a dog” (Beusterien 2016, p. 35). With regard to the author and texts at hand: “The animals of Cervantes remain more than metaphor” (Alves 2011, p. 56); Beusterien “turns to Animal Studies in order to argue on behalf of the elimination of the animal as figure” (Beusterien 2016, p. 36; cf. pp. 8, 109); cf. “para encontrar al animal verdadero detrás del tropo antropomórfico” (Martín 2012, p. 462; Martín 2014, p. 476); “varios animales pueden ser examinados como algo más que la abstracción que proveen las metáforas antropomórficas” (Martín 2012, p. 452); cf. (Martín 2014, p. 469); (Martín 2004, p. 1560). Contrast Boehrer’s descriptive stance: “animal character is always necessarily figurative, a result of socially generated patterns of meaningful action […] despite […] Fudge’s exhortation that we attend to ‘the literal meaning of animals’ in early modern texts […] animal character […] arises through group interaction, in the space between individuals. Whether the groups in question are intraspecies or cross-species, they generate a sense of social being that cannot be reduced […] to a literal notion of the Tier an sich” (Boehrer 2010, p. 22). Cf. “the cluster of attributes, often incompatible, associated with each species is historically inflected” (Perry 2004, p. 20). See also Mussner, evoking tropes as “eine auf Erfahrung mit dem Tier beruhende Wendung” (Mussner 2015, p. 174; cf. p. 173)—the selectivity of such (verbalized) experiences or observations (cf. “die versprachlichte Beobachtung”, p. 175) notwithstanding; in this respect, see Cuneo’s suggestive remark: “It matters that it is the horse as opposed to […] a goat, who is chosen as a symbol for pride” (Cuneo 2014, p. 4)
See Wolfe: “Rather than treat the animal as primarily a theme, trope, metaphor, analogy, representation, or sociological datum […] scholars in animal studies” are to ‘take the animal seriously’ (Wolfe 2009, pp. 566–67). Cf. also the following formulations: “[in] reductive moves […] an animal or animal part is an instrument or resource for the use of humans. […] the animal is reduced radically […] [in] symbolic use, ‘figurative appropriation’ […] or ideational exploitation” (Shapiro and Copeland 2005, p. 344); “The dog as dog has disappeared […] animals were prompts to the abstract. […] animals were […] used […] animal behaviors were used” (Fudge 2006, pp. 106–7); “el empleo figurado del animal suele ser antropocéntrico, podría ser visto […] como pura explotación estética” (Martín 2012, p. 462); cf. “reduce al animal a un tropo” (Martín 2014, p. 472; see also p. 469). All the same, the fundamentally metaphorical ‘nature’ of language may lead even animal-intentioned critics into statements such as: “Will man sich auf eine ertragreiche Weise mit den Tieren in der Literatur beschäftigen” (Borgards 2015, pp. 226–27).
Cf. e.g., “an occasional, tired, animal metaphor” (Shapiro and Copeland 2005, p. 343); “animals for Deleuze and Guattari are […] conceptual pieces in a philosophical game” (Raber 2013, p. 12). As to the bias against rhetoric on the part of Animal Studies, see (Borgards 2015, p. 226). Regarding the paradigm’s rejection of a certain genre, see this catalytic statement on Derrida’s part: “Above all, it would be necessary to avoid fables. We know the history of fabulation and how it remains an anthropomorphic taming, a moralizing subjection, a domestication. Always a discourse of man, on man, indeed on the animality of man, but for and as man” (Derrida 2002, p. 405; cf. pp. 374, 378, 403, 403n.).
Generally, see Derrida’s incisive caveat against “venturing to say almost anything at all for the cause, for whatever cause or interest” (Derrida 2002, p. 398).
In hermeneutic terms, everything is to be read in sensu litterali, not spirituali (allegorico, tropologico/morali, anagogico). The same as biographistic or psychoanalytical criticism, such proclivities as outlined above may lead to deprioritizing the inevitably mediated state, the historical alterity, the virtuality, the (textually sedimented) rhetorico-strategic functions, of the respective material. Moreover, the reader’s active participation in the production of meaning (by selective attention, by contributing associations, etc.) is sidelined along with textuality and mediacy—thereby (ultimately) spiriting away both the recipient and the medium. In discourse historical terms, the Animal Studies paradigm might (eventually) locate itself in a long tradition of cultural critique (along Lucretian, Rousseauist, Romanticist lines, for instance, and with the respective genres; as to the latter generally, cf. (Forcione 1989, p. 349)); in such a view, the field’s apparent, occasionally voiced uneasiness with its disciplinary parentage, cultural studies—cf. (Wolfe 2009, passim, spec. pp. 565–66, 568); contrast (Dopico Black 2010, passim, spec. pp. 236–37)—would be the result of its de re affiliation to the above; consequently, certain radical positions might indeed be innocent of an awareness as to—or even feel inclined to expressly disown—their own condition of possibility: human culture. Cf. “natural and timeless because the return belongs with nature (the animal, instinct) and not with culture (the human, reason)” (Fudge 2007, p. 40). Contrast: “the concept of culture that informs cultural studies is always already inhabited by the human” (Dopico Black 2010, p. 237). Regarding the countless variants of a ‘return to nature’ (as tentatively listed above), see e.g., Derrida’s emphasis on nudity (Derrida 2002, passim, spec. pp. 369, 373–74, 390, 418); Fudge’s accentuation of ‘homecoming’ (Fudge 2007, passim), of recovery: “the project of this book is to recover animals from the silence of modern scholarship” (Fudge 2006, p. 4); Raber’s stress on a “belief in the primacy of the body […] the role of the body […] the significance of the body” (Raber 2013, pp. 12–13; cf. pp. 11, 19–20, 28, 30, passim), spec. as “this constant but incomplete search for actual animals with actual bodies” (p. 12); Boehrer’s focus on a “return” to a “pre-Cartesian status” (Boehrer 2010, p. 12)—“to move beyond […] by moving behind […] to the issues and developments that preceded” (p. 12). In a Bataille/Kojève context, Agamben initially signals “a return to animality” (Agamben 2004, p. 5); “man, who has become animal again” (p. 6; cf. p. 7); “Kojève returns to the problem of man’s becoming animal […] [‘]Man […] must also become purely ‘natural’ again[’] […] [‘]man’s return to animality[’]” (pp. 9–10); this emphasis is reiterated at the end: “make its way back to […] from which it came […] to return to their original place” (Agamben 2004, p. 89); “man’s regained animality” (p. 90)—returns frame Agamben’s book. Having asked “¿cómo recuperamos al animal[?]” (Martín 2014, p. 472; cf. p. 476), Martín—with regard to “interrelaciones […] con otras especies” in Cervantes’ Quijote—states: “ese mundo paralelo […] hay que recuperar y validar. Hacerlo es sólo una de las recompensas de los Estudios de Animales” (Martín 2012, p. 462); cf. (Martín 2014, p. 476). A similar tendency might be visible even in Cuneo’s more cautious statement: “I would like to […] transport us out of the realm of the academic and the representational at least to the threshold of our lived lives” (Cuneo 2014, p. 13). Less warily, Wolfe asserts: “animal studies intersects with the larger problematic of posthumanism […] in the sense of returning us precisely to the thickness and finitude of human embodiment and to human evolution as itself a specific form of animality […] we are returned to a new sense of the materiality and particularity not just of the animal […] but also of that animal called the human” (Wolfe 2009, pp. 571–72); with a complimentary (re)turn inward at the end: “not just ‘out there’, among the birds and beasts, but ’in here’ as well, at the heart of this thing we call human” (p. 572). Virtually any (ever theoretico-rhetorical) ‘return to’ tends to be a ‘flight from’—in the case of Animal Studies: from anthropocentrism, most likely.
As to the import of Derrida’s aforesaid lecture, Wolfe states that it “is arguably the single most important event in the brief history of animal studies” (Wolfe 2009, p. 570); cf. (Bühler-Dietrich and Weingarten 2016, p. 8); see also Fudge’s reading thereof (Fudge 2007, passim).
As to a desire for immediacy in the face of constitutive indirection (given the linguistic medium), see the lecture’s first line: “To begin with, I would like to entrust myself to words that, were it possible, would be naked” (Derrida 2002, p. 369)—with emphasis on the qualification; similarly, see the gradation and positing accentuated here: “posing them [sc. ‘some hypotheses in view of theses’] simply, naked, frontally, as directly as possible, pose them” (p. 392); as well as, at the end: “the naked truth, if there is such a thing […] Nudity perhaps remains untenable” (p. 418). As to immediacy, see (pp. 369, 372, 374, 376, 378, 400, 418). For express emphasis on indirect structures, cf. e.g., “labyrinthine, even aberrant, leading us astray from lure to lure” (p. 392); “It will not be a matter of attacking frontally or antithetically” (p. 398). In Derrida’s essay, returns are legion—cf. (Derrida 2002, pp. 369, 392–93, 400–1, 413, 418); meta-poetically, the text lays bare its recursive structure as such (pp. 380–381, 390, 401, 406, 412n.); cf. spec. “I must once more return to” (p. 380); “a term that will come back more than once, from different places and in different registers” (p. 381); “Yet I have been wanting to bring myself back to my nudity before the cat” (p. 390); “We will have reason to go back over these steps and tracks” (p. 401); “But since I wish ultimately to return at length to” (p. 406); “I will return to this” (p. 412n.).
For instances of what might appear to be a conflation of the figurative with the factual (and taken as the latter) in the present context, see e.g., (Fudge 2008, pp. 188–89; cf. p. 199); (Alves 2011, p. 62); (Raber 2013, pp. 79–80); (Beusterien 2009, pp. 212, 219); (Beusterien 2016, pp. 8, 38–39). With respect to the poetics of the Cervantine œuvre, an (a priori) rejection of the modus obliquus, of irony, of intercalated narrative levels and diverse perspectives, would arguably be particularly problematic.
Laying bare this linguistic factuality, Derrida refers to Carroll’s “Alice in Wonderland” and “Through the Looking Glass”, quoting from the latter the phrase “‘really a little cat’”—and later glosses that a respective intertextuality might even obtain throughout: “In fact you can’t be certain that I am not doing that” (Derrida 2002, p. 376). Cf. “It is a question of words, therefore. […] an exploration of language” (p. 401; see pp. 409, 416–17, passim)—language being another of humankind’s detours to itself (cf. (Derrida 2002, pp. 390, 401)). Derrida also signals (semiotic, linguistic) mediatedness by dwelling on the (human) act of naming, calling, classifying animals (cf. Gen 2:19–20)—see (Derrida 2002, pp. 380–81, 385–86, 392, 398–99, passim), spec. “what they call the animal” (p. 380); “the gaze called animal” (p. 381); in this respect, see also the critique of an inevitable linguistic possessiveness, of animal ownership in and via language (Derrida 2002, pp. 375–76, 383, 390); “Animal is a word that men have given themselves the right to give” (p. 400). Fudge reiterates the pattern: “Derrida insists that this incident with his cat is a real encounter […]. He describes the scene, returning insistently to his nakedness, his actual nakedness” (Fudge 2007, p. 45; cf. p. 46)—with the ‘scenic’ quality accentuated; “Derrida’s repeated return to his own nakedness in a lecture, in a medium in which he stands in front of his audience and speaks of his own full frontal nakedness. The philosopher—the great mind—asks his audience, who are fast becoming his spectators, to view him as a body, and worse, as a naked body” (Fudge 2007, p. 46)—with emphasis on (the several layers of) ‘mediatedness’. The scene to be envisioned has affinities to Diogenical practice.
On Gómez Pereira’s (structural) precursorship with regard to (apparently) Cartesian notions (“We have here a ‘Nosco ergo sum’”), see (Dopico Black 2010, pp. 241–45, here 243). Concerning the elision of the ‘ergo’, see Blumenberg: “In ihr [sc. der ‘Reflexion’] wird dieses Bewußtsein sich selbst das Andere […]. Es ist das Problem, das Descartes offenlegte, als er das ausdrückliche oder heimliche ‘ergo’ im Cogito sum bestritt oder verschwinden ließ” (Blumenberg 2006b, p. 154; cf. pp. 155, 161, 169–72); cf. “der schon zu Lebzeiten des Descartes von seinen Korrespondenten geäußerte Verdacht, im cogito ergo sum stecke ein diskursiver Prozeß, folglich sei momentane Evidenz ohne Erinnerungseinfluß ausgeschlossen” (p. 161).
Contrast: “cette certitude […]: je pense, donc je suis […] pour penser, il faut être” (Descartes 1969, p. 54, IV.3, §34). To tentatively put Derrida’s move in (counter-)Cartesian terms: the desired “certainty” is externalized into the apparently irreducible being of an ‘other than the self’; hence (perchance): ‘I perceive (my perceiving) that the other is (other), therefore I am’. In other words: it is by insisting on the other’s fundamental alterity that the self comes into (perceiving, being) its self (contrast the tendency in Schopenhauer’s Vedantic reference above). Derrida seems to be insinuating which blueprint for conceptualizing ‘radical alterity’ he is refunctionalizing when suggesting: “I hear the cat or God ask itself, ask me” (Derrida 2002, p. 387).
See Montaigne: “the animals that live with us recognize our voice” (Montaigne 1989, p. 343, II.12); “How could they [sc. ‘animals’] not speak to one another? They certainly speak to us, and we to them. In how many ways do we not speak to our dogs? And they answer us. We talk to them in another language […] and we change the idiom according to the species” (Montaigne 1989, p. 335, II.12); see (Derrida 2002, p. 375n.). Cf. (spec. with the qualification in brackets): “In dieser von den Tieren ausgehenden Wirkung auf uns erfahren wir nicht nur etwas über uns selbst, sondern es ist nun sinnvoll möglich zu sagen, dass vermittelst dieser (Rück‑)Wirkung wir etwas über die Tiere selbst (aber nicht: über Tiere an sich) erfahren” (Bühler-Dietrich and Weingarten 2016, pp. 13–14). Rather revealingly in this respect, Fudge claims: “In a world without animals, humans […] would lose themselves” (Fudge 2006, p. 36); “Taking animals seriously […] offers us […] another way of conceptualizing both ourselves and the world around us” (Fudge 2006, p. 4; cf. p. 109). Derrida situates his entire œuvre with respect to “the question of the living and of the living animal. For me that will always have been the most important and decisive question. I have addressed it […], either directly or obliquely, by means of readings of all the philosophers I have taken an interest in, beginning with Husserl” (Derrida 2002, p. 402).
With the latter only temporarily delayed or deferred by the time it takes to think, say, or write: ‘cogito sum’ (and but marginally accelerated by eliding the ‘ergo’). As regards the apparently human need for (self‑)reflection (at least in theory), one might—in this particular context—adduce that (as per Agamben’s reading) “Linnaeus […] defined Homo as the animal that is only if it recognizes that it is not” (Agamben 2004, p. 27); “man has no specific identity other than the ability to recognize himself. […] Homo sapiens […] is […] a machine or device for producing the recognition of the human” (pp. 25–26)—potentially, that is.
This indirection via the animal seems particularly patent at the end: “And in the first place, me […] Is there animal narcissism? But cannot this cat also be […] my primary mirror?” (Derrida 2002, p. 418). Cf. “In […] Derrida’s lecture […] can be traced an admission of the centrality of animals to the assertion of human status” (Fudge 2007, p. 51). Candidly, Cuneo accentuates “the […] foundational, […] complex, […] ubiquitous ways in which humans use animals, not just for physical labor or for scientific experimentation, but for representational work and for self-definition. […] [the] human use of animals […] includ[es] our own scholarly use of historical animals to perform our professional identities” (Cuneo 2014, p. 3; cf. pp. 4, 14). See also Bühler’s structurally comparable position in an epistemological context, stressing “dass ein bestimmtes Wissen vom Menschen alleine über den Umweg über das Tier gewonnen werden kann. So werden Tiere in Experimentalsystemen zu Objekten des Wissens und fungieren dabei als Substitute des Menschen” (Bühler 2016, p. 20; on substitution in that regard, see also pp. 20–21, 23–26, 33, 35–36, 38). For a poetico-literary context, cf. “In der langen Geschichte jenes Reflektierens der Menschen über sich fällt dem Tier […] eine besondere Rolle zu” (Kohlhauer 2002, p. 52). Generally in this respect, cf. “[‘]Yet they needed them [sc. ‘animals’] in order to draw from their nature an experimental knowledge [‘ad experimentalem cognitionem’][’]”, Aquinas qtd. in (Agamben 2004, p. 22). In terms of animal heuristics, see also Montaigne’s formulations: “These are particular actions; but what everyone has seen and what everyone knows” (Montaigne 1989, p. 342, II.12); “if anyone studies closely what we see ordinarily of the animals that live among us, there is material there for him to find facts” (pp. 342–43, II.12).
Cf. “There are many stories, told by philosophers, historians, poets, about dogs […] the stories told about dogs […] are never really about dogs at all, they are always about humans” (Fudge 2007, p. 37). See Beusterien, paraphrasing “Garber’s position”, which “argues that the critical return to the human is […] taking place in the study of the dog” (Beusterien 2016, p. 5n.).
In appropriating Derrida’s lecture, the paradigm of Animal Studies may seem to have isolated the instances calling for immediacy; such a reading would also have been facilitated by passing over the explicit signals of indirection as are provided in the text’s various auto-referential gestures, including the ironies of apparent authorial intent, which signal its constitutive state of mediatedness, of virtuality. For such techniques tender a structural, syntactico-semantic realization of the underlying configuration (indirection over immediacy) in a quasi-permanent ‘mise en abyme du discours’—to adopt Küpper’s formulation from another context (Küpper 1990, pp. 342, 370, 372, 381); this procedure is arguably characteristic of Derrida’s écriture in general. Cf. “Derrida’s tale [sc. ‘its end’] ultimately […] returns us, it seems, to its beginning” (Fudge 2007, p. 48). The aforesaid pattern also appears to transfer itself into readings of his work: “I want to read Derrida as the re-teller of a key myth of modernity that brings together the dog, the home and the human. […] I will, like Lassie to her home, return to Derrida” (Fudge 2007, p. 38).
See Fudge’s findings concerning the reception of Descartes, particularly in Early Modern England (Fudge 2006, pp. 5–6, 147–74; spec. pp. 153, 156, 160, 172); as well as her incisive critique of the (tacit) presence of a Cartesian approach (including the respective notions as to animals) in contemporary scholarship, which, in part, is seen to project that discourse back on, or into, pre-Cartesian writings (Fudge 2006, pp. 175–93, especially 179–80, 185); needless to say, spec. Cartesian positions cannot apply to Cervantine texts. On Descartes in the context of Animal Studies, see also (Boehrer 2009, pp. 545–46); (Boehrer 2010, pp. 9–10; spec. pp. 12, 24); (Martín 2014, p. 475); (Bühler 2013, p. 191); likewise Raber, who (while stating that “[b]oth of these critics [sc. ‘Boehrer’, ‘Fudge’] clearly struggle against Descartes’ legacy”) wishes to “fully subvert[…] Cartesianism” by way of “look[ing] to histories and narratives about embodiment”—since, “[a]s long as we fight over reason, we are stuck on Descartes’ playing field” (Raber 2013, p. 11). Cf. “As any medievalist or early modern scholar will tell you, the question of the animal assumes, if anything, even more centrality in earlier periods; […] the idea of the animal that we have inherited from the Enlightenment and thinkers such as Descartes and Kant is better seen as marking a brief period” (Wolfe 2009, p. 564). Similarly: “in most posthumanist accounts, Descartes tends to be the go-to man […], a habit we might question” (Dopico Black 2010, p. 237).
For the Cartesian positions on animals in this respect, see (Descartes 1969, pp. 90–97, V.9–12, §§56–60); spec. “le corps de chaque animal […] comme une machine” (p. 90, V.9, §56). Cf. “Between Augustine and Rousseau, […] within the evolving history of the ego cogito ergo sum, stands Descartes. He waits for us with his animal-machines” (Derrida 2002, p. 391; cf. pp. 396, 400). Such (apparently unworldly) Cartesian speculations about beings other than humans would likely have made (or make) no sense to anyone in the presence of—and engaging with—animals on a daily basis: “Cartesius certe non vidit simios”, Linnaeus qtd. in (Agamben 2004, p. 23); cf. “the orthodox philosophical debate sits at odds with what was apparently obvious to day-to-day living. Animals think” (Fudge 2006, p. 145); see also Thomas as qtd. in (Boehrer 2010, p. 26).
Cf. Bühler, condensing theorizations on the part of (among others) Plessner, Simmel, Derrida, Luhman, and Lotman into the formula: “Grenzen sind nicht gegeben, sondern werden gemacht” (Bühler 2013, p. 13). Faced with “the border between human and animal” (Agamben 2004, p. 21; cf. pp. 22, 36)—this “hiatus” (p. 92) that, “[i]n our culture”, may seem to be “the decisive political conflict” (p. 80)—Agamben posits “a mobile border within living man” (p. 15): “the caesura between the human and the animal passes first of all within man” (p. 16; cf. p. 79); in so doing, he searches for instances where the “critical threshold, at which the difference between animal and human, which is so decisive for our culture, threatens to vanish” (p. 21). Describing “the blurring of the lines between humans and animals” in the Middle Ages, Salisbury states: “The separation between animals and humans seemed to be lost even as contemporary influential thinkers like Thomas Aquinas were asserting the absolute difference between the species” (Salisbury 1994, p. 134); he stresses that, from a Medieval viewpoint, “the species were [‘closely’] linked in people’s minds: animals cannot live without men” (pp. 18–19)—concerning the manifold ties between dogs and humans in the Middle Ages, see spec. (pp. 45–49, 135). Cf. Raber, remarking that in “Renaissance culture, […] the boundary that divides human from animal is neither fixed nor stable” (Raber 2013, pp. 9–10). With regard to notions concerning animals in Early Modern times, Fudge notes the—discourse historically significant—impact of (Ancient) Skepticism, spec. in terms of its (effectively dissimilar) influence on Montaigne and Descartes; in particular, she accentuates “the impact on human–animal relations of the rediscovery of the skeptical writings of Sextus Empiricus in the sixteenth century” (Fudge 2006, p. 5; cf. pp. 116–22)—spec. that “Sextus constantly takes animals as evidence of the boundary of human understanding” (p. 117). As to the pretermission of Diogenes and Cynicism where mention would seem requisite (discourse historically speaking), cf. e.g., “I plan to speak endlessly of nudity and of the nude in philosophy. Starting from Genesis” (Derrida 2002, p. 369; cf. p. 374); “a properly transgressal if not transgressive experience of limitrophy” (p. 397; similarly: pp. 399, 408); likewise in Fudge, see (Fudge 2007, p. 45; cf. p. 46), e.g., when speaking of “this undermining of the opposition between reason and unreason” (Fudge 2006, p. 3); and especially, when citing Joubert’s definition of “‘untrue’ […] laughter” as “‘dog laughter’ or the ‘cynic spasm’”, since “‘angry and threatening dogs have this look’”, qtd. in (Fudge 2006, p. 17; cf. pp. 25, 35); similarly when Fudge later mentions the “connection between scornfulness and laughter” as “repeated by numerous early modern thinkers in England” (p. 19); likewise: “a pissing dog comes to stand for everything that a human is not, and cannot be” (Fudge 2008, p. 198); cf. Raber, referring to the latter remark, as well as to “Topsell” on “‘rayling’ as a characteristic of the cur: ‘The voice of a Dogge […] is by the learned interpreted as rayling and angry speech’, which is why dogs are sometimes used as ‘emblems of vile, cursed, rayling, and filthy men’”, qtd. in (Raber 2013, p. 145). In such instances, mention of cynicism would seem indispensable (discourse historically speaking). Given her topic, Mussner’s omission of cynicism may seem striking (Mussner 2015, passim). A Cultural History of Animals in the Renaissance, cf. (Boehrer 2011, passim), mentions “Diogenes of Sinope, the Cynic philosopher” only in passing, and apparently without the critical attention requisite (Perfetti 2011, p. 163); the other references to cynicism in that ed. volume seem to be valuative, rather than discourse historically motivated: cf. “cynical overtones” (De Ornellas 2011, p. 31); “less cynical, demonstrably sincere” (p. 34); “the […] cynical use of the pelican image […] inspire[s] equal cynicism” (p. 36). By contrast, Perry—who examines instances of Early Modern English animal narration without rejecting rhetoric, cf. (Perry 2004, pp. 19, 30, 33), or certain genres (such as fables and satires)—refers to “Swetnam[’s] […] following the model of Diogenes”, with “several responses […] turn[ing] his self-representation as a snarling dog back on himself” (p. 24).
Generally in this respect, Fudge emphasizes that “there is no such thing as a pure human society” considering “the number of day-to-day interactions between humans and animals in all areas of life” (Fudge 2004, p. 6). Cf. “there is no such thing as human identity, history, culture, without the prior cooperation, collaboration, habitation, ideological appropriation, consumption of animals, without animals as the ‘always already’ of both materiality and culture itself” (Raber 2013, p. 28). Boehrer speaks of a “heavy integration of animals into” numerous “aspects of early modern society”—which includes the “literary”: “Montaigne’s Apology for Raymond Sebonde […] abounds with sentient beasts” (Boehrer 2009, p. 545); cf. (Boehrer 2010, p. 7); “in early modern culture” there was a “literal and figurative proximity of nonhuman to human animals” (Boehrer 2009, p. 545); cf. (Boehrer 2010, p. 8). For the Spanish context, Alves stresses: “all ranks and estates interacted to a greater or lesser extent with nonhuman animals” (Alves 2014, p. 271). As “the three principal uses to which early modern Europeans put the beasts in their lives”, Boehrer suggests: “haulage, companionship, and food” (Boehrer 2010, p. 18). Cf. what Raber gives as “some of the most ordinary, unremarkable, and unremarked experiences of early modern life: using a dog to hunt or herd, petting a cat, riding a horse” (Raber 2013, p. 14); with respect to “the dog” as “[t]hat most ubiquitous of pets”, she accentuates a “wide set of useful tasks for individual businesses (butchers […] still used dogs to bait bulls […])”, which “brought them into the city in huge numbers” (p. 140). Alves has: “On the ground, in practical application, many Spaniards, like other early modern Europeans, predominantly saw animals as sources of labor, food, and entertainment—as objects to be used to enhance their human lives” (Alves 2014, p. 273); cf. “en la temprana época moderna los animales eran absolutamente centrales en las vidas de los humanos, como alimento, ropa, medios de transporte y trabajo, y como compañía” (Martín 2014, p. 468).
A note on alterity—on the other that is the text—may seem requisite at this point. If the initial, producing and receiving culture considered certain views plausible, it is not for the ‘modern critic’ to ignore them (to say nothing of deeming them absurd). Cautioning against positivistic approaches, Enenkel/Smith highlight “its [sc. of ‘early modern zoology’] striking alterity and discontinuity from modern science” (Enenkel and Smith 2007, p. 5), and call for contextualization: “Various methods of animal description may occur at the same time […]. Most important are the specific historical contexts, interests, needs and the literary, theological, philosophical and artistic discourses” (p. 5). For a seventeenth century context, Bühler stresses: “die Antike [‘blieb’] als Argumentationsfolie auch weiterhin erhalten” (Bühler 2016, p. 20). Emphasizing alterity (“strikingly different from our own”), Salisbury cautions: “Our notions about animals were not uniformly acquired nor have they remained constant over time” (Salisbury 1994, p. 3)—cf. what may seem a particularly marked instance of Medieval alterity: “a saint’s cult that completely eliminates the lines between humans and animals”, “that of Saint Guinefort, a greyhound” (p. 175); at once, Salisbury notes certain relatively durable continuities: “dogs had been serving the same functions for millennia” (p. 18). See Callaghan, stressing “the radical alterity of nascent modernity” (Callaghan 2003, p. 58), spec. with regard to “that shady area, both literal and metaphoric, of relations between the species” (p. 64). Contrast the following claims: “para buscar al animal en Don Quijote a veces hay que leer a Cervantes contra Cervantes […] para encontrar al animal verdadero detrás del tropo antropomórfico hay que mirar dentro y más allá del texto en sí” (Martín 2014, p. 476); cf. (Martín 2012, p. 462); as well as the obverse: “Cervantes anticipates postures from Animal Studies” (Beusterien 2016, p. 42; cf. pp. 47, 49). Texts and material objects (such as paintings) are embedded in their (back)grounds of emergence in manifold ways, not least in carrying along sedimented assumptions, views previously held. Moreover, general and prevalent, widely held notions (also about animals) may tend to be of greater import with regard to works of art (including literature) than particularist notions not available to most recipients (in terms of prior knowledge)—unless expressly contained in the respective document or material item itself. What Cuneo describes with reference to a particular context—“a suggestive mixture of eye-witnessing and authoritative accounts (textual and verbal) with folklore, literary conventions and […] anecdotes” (Cuneo 2014, p. 12)—may apply to animals (as represented) in literature generally. Cf. Boehrer, stressing “the innumerable […] commonplaces whereby traditional language assumes a continuity between human and nonhuman animal experience” (Boehrer 2010, p. 3). Arguably, it is only as a relative remark that the following holds good even ‘today’: “Nahezu alles, was wir heute als alltägliches Wissen von Tieren haben, ist geprägt durch wissenschaftliches Wissen” (Bühler-Dietrich and Weingarten 2016, p. 15); contrast Mussner, stressing “dass die in der Allgemeinsprache verwendeten Tierbezeichnungen häufig nicht der wissenschaftlichen Taxonomie entsprechen” (Mussner 2015, p. 161). Cf. Blumenberg’s remark concerning the relative ‘inertia or remanence of language’—“daß die Sprache von hoher Trägheit ist” (Blumenberg 2009, p. 129)—in another context; also exemplified in this: “Was auch immer wir wissen, die Sonne geht über uns auf und unter, insgeheim sogar für uns auf und unter” (Blumenberg 2011, p. 311).
In her reading of “talking animals” in Early Modern English satire—with spec. focus on their inducing “pleasure for readers” (Perry 2004, p. 20; cf. pp. 19, 27, 29, 31, 33), and emphasizing “the power of rhetoric” (p. 19; cf. pp. 30, 33)—Perry, tentatively “borrow[ing] […] Ritvo’s term”, speaks of “‘rhetorical’ animal[s]”, while simultaneously signaling their having “very little in common with […] [their] ‘material’ counterpart” (Perry 2004, p. 20). Concerning speaking animals from a generally narratological perspective, see Borgards (2015, p. 226); while initially admitting that “die Tiere der Literatur zunächst aus Wörtern [‘bestehen’]. Literaturtiere sind Textgestalten” (Borgards 2015, p. 225)—he later censures the fact (in anthropocentric terms): “Literaturtiere sind […] Produkte von Menschen für Menschen, gelesen und interpretiert von Menschen; die Tiere, die unsere Welt bevölkern, spielen dabei kaum eine Rolle. Dieser anthropozentrischen Perspektive lässt sich eine theriozentrische Haltung entgegensetzen“ (p. 227). Naturally, such a professed ‘theoriocentric stance’ would (supposing its viability) be taken—and valued as such—by human beings. Later, Borgards does call for the—frankly anthropocentric—modes of “contextualization, historicization” repeatedly (p. 228; trans. dsm; cf. pp. 227, 229), and vehemently: “zwingend nötige […] Historisierung” (p. 229).
Cf. Fudge, “asserting that the animals within these texts are to be interpreted as animals and not simply as symbols of something else” (Fudge 2006, p. 4)—with ‘interpretation’ qua mediacy.
In terms of genre, it might especially be epics and novels that—in characteristically crafting (the impression of) ‘entire worlds’—would all but naturally seem to include ‘animals as animals’; hence (perchance) the tentative plausibility of suggestions such as: “Don Quixote’s animals are the animals of Spain in [a] literary microcosm” (Alves 2011, p. 58); “Don Quijote […] contiene una cantidad elevadísima de animales reales” (Martín 2014, p. 470); cf. (Martín 2012, p. 452).
If inclined to do justice to a mediated (textual, virtual) animal, one will arguably have to take seriously the media (texts, paintings, etc.) providing the semiotic stimuli for the recipient’s notional ‘realization’ of the animal represented. Close attention to the medium, to mediatedness, is the premise of a careful reading of a given textual animal, of the descriptions and views concerning animals. The reader makes—renders, ’realizes’—the animal; consequently, contextualization (including the reception) is needful. To spirit away the reader is to do likewise unto the animal: isolating a perceived ‘animal as such’ will lead to its effacement. Any perceived (interpreted) ‘reality’—including an otherwise textual one—will be the ‘realization’ of its respective recipient. Striving to work as descriptively as possible, scholarship can attempt to describe these processes, their workings, and can never be free of them. The same obtains in a related matter: for, as far as “question[ing] anthropocentrism” (Wolfe 2009, p. 572; cf. pp. 568–69) is concerned, one might have to add that, for the most part, such curiously inquisitive conduct seems to be performed by animals capable of engaging in virtuality, and spec. such as they themselves have set up by, and for, themselves. In this view, perspectival inversion (‘theriocentrism’, ‘posthumanism’, cultural critique) is human. Structurally, see Raber on “the use of the term ‘nonhuman animal’”, while not also “refer[ring] to a human as a ‘non-canine’ animal”: “of all animals only we feel we need to signal our lack of distinction” (Raber 2013, p. 195n.). Generally, cf. “Doch scheint die Spezies Mensch ein großes Stück weit über das hinaus zu gehen, was andere Tiere machen, mithilfe oder aufgrund ihrer Sprache” (Mussner 2015, p. 157).
Cf. what Wolfe calls “the mobilization in literary texts of identification and sympathetic imagination regarding animals” (Wolfe 2009, p. 569); he emphasizes “the embodied finitude that we share with nonhuman animals” (p. 570; cf. p. 571). Borgards suggests: “Literatur kann versuchsweise die Perspektive eines Tieres einnehmen” (Borgards 2015, p. 227)—a performance on the part of human beings, who conceive of, and receive, literature. Cf. “We all have some knowledge of the life of a nonhuman animal and […] some ability to empathize with the world-as-experienced by that animal” (Shapiro and Copeland 2005, p. 345). As regards the author and texts at hand, see also Beusterien, with reference to Haraway (Beusterien 2016, pp. 3, 7, 42, 47).
Cf. “historians […] depend on documents written by humans for other humans. The animals have left no documents behind. […] We cannot hear the animals—all we hear is human chatter” (Cuneo 2014, p. 3)—hence “an acceptance of the mediated nature of historical knowledge” (p. 4) is requisite. See also the balanced formulation of Cuneo’s guiding questions: “What kinds of identities (both human and animal) were generated by interactions between human and animal? How were these identities articulated, for what purposes, and for what kinds of audiences” (Cuneo 2014, p. 2); as well as her nuanced remark: “animals were used both physically and symbolically by human animals […] some interactions between humans and animals can do more than one thing simultaneously” (pp. 4–5). See Fudge: “to ignore animals is to ignore key aspects of our own culture. […] it is not only real animals that are significant to so-called human culture. It is also conceptual animals […] animals of the mind” (Fudge 2008, p. 187); “the real and the conceptual are not […] wholly separate spheres. In the early modern period they can become enmeshed” (p. 188)—the latter apparently modifying her earlier claim: “to ignore […] the link made between humans and real animals in many texts from the [‘early modern’] period […] is to translate real animals into figurative ones […]. If there was a beast in man, there were also numerous beasts outside of man” (Fudge 2006, p. 177). Generally, cf. “die Tiere der Literatur […] stehen mit den Tieren der Welt in einem vielfältigen und wechselseitigen Austausch” (Borgards 2015, p. 229; cf. p. 228); “the metaphor is intertwined with the realities of human animal-relations” (Alves 2011, p. 60n.; cf. p. 62)—a remark that might be infinitized. As regards sedimented historical knowledge, see Boehrer’s formulation: “to concentrate on the semiotic residue of earlier social practices” (Boehrer 2010, p. 20); cf. “für eine […] Wissensgeschichte der Tiere ist die Literatur […] von konstitutiver Bedeutung” (Borgards 2015, p. 228). Fudge stresses: “animals” are “an important aspect of the cultures we interpret” (Fudge 2004, p. 7); “ignoring animals in our reconstructions of the past is also failing to fully represent those past worlds. […] If animals are absent from the histories we write, then those histories remain incomplete” (Fudge 2008, p. 186); in particular, she stresses “the relevance and significance of animals to a reading of early modern literature” (p. 187). Referring to Fudge, Dopico Black emphasizes “the value of […] the study of animals (and of human-animal relations) in order to understand the past” (Dopico Black 2010, p. 246n.).
The latter might be induced by the contrast agent commonly referred to as ‘Theory’—with its administration clearly marked; in this respect, ‘critical’ will mean ‘descriptive’ attention. Contrast Wolfe, calling for “a critical and not just descriptive practice” (Wolfe 2009, p. 567); otherwise Boehrer: “this project is descriptive rather than ameliorative in nature” (Boehrer 2010, p. 199; cf. p. 27). Wolfe’s angle—asserting “the radically ahuman technicity and mechanicity of language”, and speaking of “creatures” in the same sentence (Wolfe 2009, p. 571); similarly: “Kreatur” (Borgards 2015, p. 227); “creature” (Beusterien 2016, p. 47); “criatura” (Martín 2014, p. 473)—seems to proceed from an ontologico-metaphysical premise that is no matter, here.
See his guarded wording in the German: “es gibt die nachträgliche Mobilisierbarkeit von Implikationen” (Blumenberg 1999, p. 73).
Joining Animal Studies and historical research in his exploration of Early Modern Spain, Alves examines “what was considered good and bad behavior toward animals”, the “[s]ocially approved treatment of tame animals”, “popular attitudes regarding animals”, “[t]he definition of acceptable human interaction with other animals in the Spanish empire”—and, in so doing, also has recourse to “classic sources like Cervantes’ ‘Colloquy of the Dogs’” (Alves 2011, p. 27, for his respective reading, see pp. 56–57); spec. “Cervantes’ work [sc. the coloquio, here] does offer some indications of what might be expected in an early modern Spanish dog’s life” (Alves 2011, p. 56); cf. (Alves 2014, p. 273). “Cervantes’ tale reflects much about his Castilian Spanish culture, and its empirical observations regarding dogs” (Alves 2011, p. 57); cf. (Alves 2014, p. 273). Similarly, Martín seeks to “ilustrar el papel social y cultural del perro en la temprana época moderna en Europa, tal como lo representan en su coloquio los finos interlocutores Berganza y Cipión” (Martín 2004, p. 1559); for a brief overview of “qué se sabía en su época sobre esos cuadrúpedos”, cf. (Martín 2004, pp. 1561–1562, passim, here 1561). With regard to the text’s historical substrates, she states: “los discursos de la literatura, de la cría de animales y de la vida real convergen en la narración de Cervantes” (p. 1566); “Cervantes […] suministra un retrato exacto, detallado y realista de la España de su época” (p. 1569); hence she speaks of “una interpretación fidedigna de la vida” (p. 1567): “Digamos, entonces, que Cervantes logra crear un contrato mimético creíble” (p. 1571n.). Beusterien’s chapter on the coloquio, cf. (Beusterien 2016, pp. 35–54; see also pp. 55, 57, 74, 77) aims to “turn[…] away from interpretations of the canine in the ‘Dialogue of the Dogs’ as a figure or mask for the human […]. Instead, it turns to Animal Studies in order to argue on behalf of the elimination of the animal as figure” (Beusterien 2016, p. 36; cf. pp. 8, 109). For Boehrer’s references to Don Quixote with respect to animal studies, see (Boehrer 2010, pp. 71–73, 112–13, 155–57).
As regards the apparent prevalence of performing canines in Early Modern Europe, see Montaigne: “Everybody is satiated, I think, with seeing so many sorts of monkey tricks that mountebanks teach their dogs” (Montaigne 1989, p. 340, II.12); cf. (Montaigne 2009, p. 195, II.xii). On Montaigne and Cervantes generally, see also (Forcione 1989, p. 338); (Dümchen 1989, pp. 112–14); (Nerlich 1989, passim, spec. pp. 264, 266, 268–72, 280–81, 284).
This abstract does not claim to be exhaustive; it condenses (Cervantes 2002b, pp. 279–95; Cervantes 2016a, pp. 433–46) and (Cervantes 2002a, pp. 297–359; Cervantes 2016b, pp. 451–512). The present essay focuses on two intercalated narratives: the conversation between Campuzano and Peralta qua framework for the colloquy of Berganza and Cipión, which equally frames a series of episodic tales—some of which include one or more narrative levels (quotes, forms of reported speech, implicit dialogs with intertexts via allusions, sermocinationes). Integrated with this rhetorico-narrative setting, discourse historical implications—re Scripture, Ancient philosophy, cynicism, animal narration—form the other focal points. For reasons of space, the present article cannot address all facets, nor detail each of the episodes in the coloquio. A comprehensive analysis of these novelas may be found in Forcione’s seminal studies (Forcione 1984, passim); cf. (Forcione 1982, passim).
On the nexus between rhetoric and narratology, see e.g., (Mayfield 2017b, pp. 4n.–5n., 13n., 18n., 24–25).
On the Husserlian (phenomenological) term ‘Lebenswelt’ in general, see (Blumenberg 2010, passim). On the rhetorical ‘aptum’, cf. (Lausberg 1990, p. 44, §102; Lausberg 2008, p. 144, §258); (Mayfield 2017b, pp. 18–19, 18n.–19n.); his perceived parrhesía notwithstanding, Berganza observes it in certain areas (implicitly of a risqué nature), here as regards the lifeworld of the “comediantes”, to which pertain “infinitas cosas, unas para decirse al oído y otras para aclamallas en público” (Cervantes 2002a, p. 354; cf. p. 351)—with Cipión’s respective comments (p. 358). Generally, see (Boyd 2010, p. 16; Hart 1979, p. 385n.); cf. “converting the raw material of life into acceptable patterns of expression” (El Saffar 1974, p. 80).
Cf. (Lausberg 2008, pp. 181–85, §§325–334). As to plausibility (‘probabile, credibile, verisimile’), see (Quintilian 2001, p. 234, 4.2.31; Lausberg 2008, pp. 179–80, §322; Mayfield 2017b, p. 10n.). Cf. “Ist der Grundstein für die phantasierte Welt einmal gelegt, so wirkt jeder weitere Schritt schlüssig, plausibel” (Kohlhauer 2002, p. 65).
“The intricate [or: ‘complex, complicated’] framing technique […] is striking [or: ‘prominent, conspicuous’]” (Nolting-Hauff 1987, p. 190; trans. dsm); later, Nolting-Hauff links this to “a layered [or: ‘multiple’] delegation of the role of the narrator and a cautiously dosed increase of irreality from one narrative plane to the next” (p. 194; trans. dsm).
See e.g., (El Saffar 1974, pp. 69–70); (Aylward 2010, pp. 256–58); cf. “flirtation with the implausible” (Gaylord 2002, p. 115). Kohlhauer, speaking of a “‘cynocentric’ narrative perspective” (Kohlhauer 2002, p. 55; trans. dsm), stresses: “Cervantes’ Hunde sind […] alles andere als allegorische Figuren, personifizierte Abstraktionen oder gar mythisch anmutende Gestalten von märchenhaftem Typus” (p. 55); “Abgesehen davon, daß sie denken, sprechen und vor allem erzählen, verhalten sich seine [sc. of the coloquio] Hunde wie … Hunde eben” (p. 63). Martín has: “Berganza discierne y actúa como un perro, y entiende el mundo de muchas maneras caninas” (Martín 2012, p. 462); if this is perceived to be thus, her earlier remark may seem problematic: “En términos de la enunciación, hay que olvidar que Berganza habla en vez de ladrar” (Martín 2004, p. 1562)—spec. since these (textual) dogs themselves, in their capacity as canines, repeatedly deal with this very problem (by speaking); similarly, Beusterien asserts that “from a narrative point of view, the dog’s ontological status is irrelevant in the consideration of language” (Beusterien 2016, p. 38)—while the canines render precisely this aspect problematic throughout.
Cf. (Cervantes 2002a, p. 299). The full title—thereto, see (Schmauser 1996, pp. 18–26)—expressly embedded (also layout-wise) into the narrative itself (by far the most protracted in the collection, with the greatest density of spatial references), reads: “Novela y coloquio que pasó entre Cipión y Berganza, perros del hospital de la resurrección, que está en la ciudad de Valladolid, fuera de la puerta del campo, a quien[es] comúnmente llaman los perros de Mahudes”, cf. (Cervantes 2002a, p. 299); titular caps removed). Via explicitly obtaining Peralta’s agreement to his knowledge of the dogs, the ensign had already primed also the extratextual reader to take in the above more immediately (perhaps unquestioningly): “‘Your honor has probably already noticed [‘habrá visto’] […] two dogs that go around at night […], lighting the way with a pair of lanterns’. ‘Yes, I have seen that’” (Cervantes 2016a, p. 443); “‘Your honor has probably also seen, or heard about [‘habrá visto o oído’] […] what they say concerning those dogs[’] […] ‘I’ve heard tell […] that all that is true[’]” (Cervantes 2016a, p. 444; 2002b, p. 293). The modes of (potentially) acceptable evidence are dominantly tied in with the aural and visual: cf. “visto […] visto […] visto o oído […] oído […] oí y casi vi con mis ojos […] oí […] oído escuchando, por ver […] oyó”—all within a brief space (Cervantes 2002b, p. 293); generally, cf. (Schmauser 1996, pp. 29–35). This audiovisual tendency continues also in the canine coloquio (without, as one might provisionally surmise, shifting the dominance also to the olfactory, in conjunction with the auditory rather than the visual); in other words: construals trying to spirit away the inevitable anthropocentricism will meet with considerable resistance.
Cf. the locus classicus: “man is a political animal [‘politikòn ho ánthropos zoon’] in a greater measure than any bee or any gregarious animal […]. Nature […] does nothing without purpose; and man alone of the animals possesses speech [‘lógon’]” (Aristotle 1944, pp. 10–11, I.i.10, 1253a); “a man who is incapable of entering into partnership, or who is so self-sufficing [‘autárkeian’] that he has no need to do so, is no part of a state, so that he must be either a lower animal or a god [‘hè theríon hè theós’]” (pp. 11–13, I.i.12, 1253a); as to cynicism in this context, stressing simultaneity, the transitional nature of such perceived limits, cf. (Mayfield 2015, pp. 25, 25n., 28, 28n., 183, 197–98, 238–39, 320n., 391–402, 437); concerning the coloquio (see (Forcione 1984, pp. 15–16, 83, 152–53, 215–17, 221); regarding Berganza, Schmauser remarks “that the boundary between animal and human being oscillates in both directions” (Schmauser 1996, p. 78; trans. dsm). Sextus Empiricus cites the Hellenistic common ground, then balances it skeptically: “Others [sc. ‘Stoics’, ‘Peripatetics’] used to assert that ‘Man is a rational mortal animal [‘zoon logikòn thnetón’], receptive of intelligence and science’. […] no animal is irrational but all are receptive of intelligence and science” (Sextus Empiricus 1933, pp. 168–69, II.26; p. 168n.). Tying in with several (Stoic, Peripatetic, Platonic) formulae, he later ridicules the act of definition itself: “‘O rational mortal animal, receptive of intelligence and science, have you met with an animal capable of laughter [‘zoon gelastikòn’], with broad nails and receptive of political science, with his (posterior) hemispheres seated on a mortal animal capable of neighing, and leading a four-footed animal capable of barking [‘zoon tetrápoun hylaktikón’]?’” (Sextus Empiricus 1933, pp. 286–87, II.211). In the coloquio, perspectivism, skeptical views are put into the witch’s mouth (the latter being crucial): “a nuestro parecer, mudamos forma, y convertidas en gallos, lechuzas o cuervos” (Cervantes 2002a, p. 342); cf. the perceived change of supposedly rational animals into beasts: “que convertían los hombres en bestias”; “sirviéndose dellos en todo cuanto querían, que parecían bestias”; “aquella ciencia que llaman tropelía, que hace parecer una cosa por otra” (Cervantes 2002a, p. 337); cf. (Boyd 2010, p. 24); generally, cf. “toda tropelía” (Gracián 2009, p. 164, I.7); such undermines, renders (potentially) permeable, an alleged animal–human divide: “sé que eres persona racional y te veo en semejanza de perro” (Cervantes 2002a, p. 337). In this respect, Alves suggests: “The tale of the witches summarizes the extent to which distinctions between the human and canine have grown difficult to make” (Alves 2011, p. 57); cf. (Alves 2014, pp. 273–74); “Berganza’s story sympathetically breaks down species boundaries by cataloguing behavioral similarities” (Alves 2011, p. 57); cf. (Alves 2014, p. 274)—while supplying the decisive qualification in a footnote: “the witch, discredited as she is” (Alves 2011, p. 57n.).
Cf. “Bien es verdad que en el discurso de mi vida diversas y muchas veces he oído hablar grandes prerrogativas nuestras; tanto, que parece que algunos han querido sentir que tenemos un natural distinto, […] que da indicios y señales de faltar poco para mostrar que tenemos un no sé qué de entendimiento capaz de discurso” (Cervantes 2002a, pp. 299–300). See these formulations (by both interlocutors): “Lo que yo he oído […] nos suelen pintar […]; y así, habrás visto (si has mirado en ello) […] donde suelen estar […] Bien sé que […]. Sé también que […] Ansí es; pero bien confesarás que ni has visto ni oído decir jamás” (Cervantes 2002a, p. 300; cf. p. 309), reaffirming a common ground in this respect). Concerning the retentive emphasis: “ocupaba la memoria en acordarme de muchas cosas” (Cervantes 2002a, p. 306; cf. pp. 308, 318, 322, 332); see (Forcione 1984, p. 159); (Schmauser 1996, pp. 40–41). On the concept of ‘hypólepsis’ qua ‘taking up and tying in with’ an (ostensible) common ground, see (Mayfield 2017c, passim). Cf. “Statt etwa ihre eigene Meinung kundzutun, ziehen es beide Hunde geschickt vor, mit Hilfe des indirekten Standpunktes die allgemein-(un)verbindliche Sprache der opinio communis zu inszenieren” (Kohlhauer 2002, p. 59). As to current and common ken regarding what is taken to be the characteristic loyalty of dogs during Early Modern times, see also Montaigne’s testimony (Montaigne 1989, p. 346, II.12).
Cf. Johnson, suggesting that one “read the Casamiento narrative […] as a story artfully told, characterized by the narrator’s withholding and anticipating information […] establishing a complex and dynamic rhetorical relationship with his hearer-reader” (Johnson 1991, pp. 8–9).
The colloquy’s outset echoes: “el hablar nosotros pasa de los términos de naturaleza” (Cervantes 2002a, p. 299); cf. (Teuber 2005, p. 251). Berganza’s surprise at his capacity for speech mirrors the (implicit) reader’s reaction to the ‘notable novelty’ (novella): “me causa nueva admiración y nueva maravilla” (Cervantes 2002a, p. 299); cf. “noté su vida y costumbres, que por ser notables es forzoso que te las cuente” (Cervantes 2002a, p. 346); likewise characteristic for this genre—cf. (Küpper 1990, pp. 41–44; on Cervantine novelas, pp. 270–72, 277, 282n., 286, 387, 387n., 395–96, 459–60); (Küpper 2005, pp. 218n.–219n.); generally, see (Krauss 1940, passim, here spec. pp. 20–23); also (Spadaccini and Talens 1989, pp. 211, 220–21)—is the above tendency of outperformance, already visible in the framework: “my experiences [‘sucesos’] are the strangest and oddest [‘los más nuevos y peregrinos’] your honor ever heard of in your life” (Cervantes 2016a, p. 434; Cervantes 2002b, p. 282). Before the “dogs” are first mentioned, a comment (implicitly) directed at the novella’s readership speaks of “Peralta’s [‘inflamed’] eagerness to hear his friend’s tale” (Cervantes 2016a, p. 443); “encendían el deseo” (Cervantes 2002b, p. 293); the ensign’s own fervent “desire to see” (“encendió más el deseo de verla”) conduced to his being deceived (Cervantes 2016a, p. 435; Cervantes 2002b, p. 283); in the coloquio: “les encendió el deseo de no dejar de ver todo” (Cervantes 2002a, p. 335). Calling Campuzano a “víctima del lenguaje” (Sieber 2002, p. 32), Sieber—also referring to the “eco” of the aforesaid passages—sees the ensign apply the knowledge (gained by his experience with the lady) to his poetic productions qua “arte de contar historias” (p. 34); concerning Peralta, he speaks of “una curiosidad vital” (p. 34); for “curiosidad” in the coloquio, see (Cervantes 2002a, p. 338). On rhetoric qua “art of accommodation” (Eden 1997, pp. 2, 14); cf. (Mayfield 2015, p. 50n.; Mayfield 2017b, pp. 18–20); re the coloquio, cf. (Forcione 1984, pp. 26, 158).
Cf. (Ziolkowski 1983, p. 101). See “hace[r] algo de nonada” (Cervantes 2002a, p. 304); on enárgeia in Cervantes, cf. (Schmauser 1996, pp. 35–36); on rhetorical evidentia generally, see (Mayfield 2017b, pp. 16n.–17n.).
The Spanish fronts the concession: “si no es por milagro no pueden hablar los animales” (Cervantes 2002b, p. 293). Cipión later echoes: “este milagro” (Cervantes 2002a, p. 299); cf. “aquel misterio o prodigio”, p. 336. A Nominalist ground swell is present in the emphases on the divine ‘quia voluit’: in the ‘theologian’ witch’s tale—“porque Dios no quería” (Cervantes 2002a, p. 341), “su voluntad [sc. ‘del Altísimo’] permitente” (p. 342), see (Forcione 1984, p. 80, generally); as well as in the effect of ‘consummate contingency’—cf. (Blumenberg 1999, pp. 166, 170, 181, 194n., passim), (Küpper 1990, pp. 268, 269n., 283, 286), (Küpper 1998a, pp. 117–18), (Küpper 1998b, pp. 173–77), (Mayfield 2015, pp. 98–108), referring to “perspectivism”, “chance”, “Blumenberg”, see (Forcione 1989, p. 340; cf. p. 349); in the resultant semblance of diversity—cf. (Cervantes 2002a, p. 332), see (Forcione 1984, pp. 179, 189–90), (Gaylord 2002, pp. 112–14), also intertextually (Boyd 2010, pp. 13–16); and of the variability of all things, from the perspective of the animal rationale—cf. (Küpper 1990, pp. 41–44, 173, 263–90, spec. 282–83), (Boyd 2010, pp. 43–44); here as mediated via another animal: “lo que el cielo tiene ordenado que suceda, no hay diligencia ni sabiduría humana que lo pueda prevenir” (Cervantes 2002a, p. 301). It is notable that the aspect of animal narration is rendered problematic at all—spec. in epistemological terms; the latter could be read as indicative of the epoch, considering that prevalent literary forms (fables, metamorphoses, folktales) otherwise take it for granted, cf. (Aylward 2010, p. 256); see the lore concerning Orpheus (Ovid 2005, pp. 75–76, X.143–44; pp. 120–21, XI.1–2); cf. Friedman on Unamuno’s canine “Orfeo” in Niebla (Friedman 2006, pp. 264–65, 303).
See Montaigne: “Yet the animals are not incapable of being taught also in our way. Blackbirds, ravens, magpies, and parrots we teach to speak; and that facility with which we see them rendering their voice and breath so supple and manageable for us […] testifies that they have an inward power of reason which makes them so teachable and determined to learn” (Montaigne 1989, pp. 339–40, II.12)—emphasis on “we see”, and “for us”. The above is precisely what Descartes would later explicitly oppose (among other aspects). Cf. “Up until the eighteenth century, language […] jumps across orders and classes, for it is suspected that even birds can talk. […] even the physical demarcation between man and the other species entailed zones of indifference in which it was not possible to assign certain identities” (Agamben 2004, p. 24). See also Cummings’ remarks on the issue in general: “the question of animal language […] is always a question of epistemology. For what is meant by language (and what is an animal)? […] The question of epistemology at issue is not animal language […], but human language, and the tests applied prove not whether animals speak animal language but whether animals speak human language” (Cummings 2004, pp. 178–79).
Cipión’s hypólepsis of Berganza’s statement lists these animals—unable to articulate themselves in a human fashion—as almost or seemingly rational: “elefante, perro, caballo o mona” (Cervantes 2002a, p. 300). As to comparable (historical) presences of perceivedly ‘reasonable animals’ in Early Modern times—attesting to a European prevalence—see Fudge on “Morocco the Intelligent Horse” (Fudge 2006, pp. 123–46, here 123); likewise as to “Morocco, the knowledgeable horse”, cf. (Perry 2004, p. 27)—spec. “The animals that could be used to explain Morocco existed in the world outside of books, outside of intellectual discussions. They could be found in a world available to all, and meaningful to all. In this context […] [a]nyone who owned a horse would know the animal’s capacities; anyone who had a dog would likewise know” (Fudge 2006, pp. 144–45). On elephants in this respect, see (Cummings 2004, passim; spec. pp. 168, 173).
Similarly Berganza: “sin añadir ni quitar de la verdad una tilde” (Cervantes 2002a, p. 330); cf. (Mt 5:18); what he says about novelas pastoriles might also be taken as an (ironic) meta-comment on the coloquio: “todos aquellos libros son cosas soñadas y bien escritas para entretenimiento […], y no verdad alguna” (Cervantes 2002a, p. 309). The fact that a given text explicitly censures other (apparently highly idealized) works for their distance from a perceived ‘reality’ (for the present context in this respect, see also (Dümchen 1989, p. 106) tends to serve as an effectual device for reinforcing its own plausibility, its claim to verisimilitude (or even to verity, authenticity, authority, etc.); relating to an effect of such a strategy de re, Manning—with reference to (Gittes 2006, p. 356)—states: “we frequently find Berganza’s narrative more credible than Cañizares’ version of events” (Manning 2007, p. 149)—which (including other intratextual levels) is Peralta’s reading of Campuzano’s rendering of Berganza’s account of the witch’s version (along with Scipio’s objections; cf. (Spadaccini and Talens 1989, pp. 221–22); spec. “Berganza’s text is not complete without Cipión’s active intervention in its constructions”, p. 229). In readings focusing primarily (or solely) on a work’s literal plane, the equalization of an (inevitably crafted, arranged) text with a perceived historico-spatial (or even local) reality may seem especially problematic when centering on non-specific, basically recyclable images also otherwise employed: “El tipo de pastor merodeador que encont[r]amos en el Coloquio era una realidad de la vida” (Martín 2004, p. 1566)—while this may be the (historical) case or not (to say nothing of ascertaining its statistical relevance), the function of such tópoi is of particular effectuality in literature (sensu lato). On Skepticism in the Cervantine œuvre, see (Ihrie 1982, passim); re the coloquio, pp. 113–15). The oneiric hypothesis is present in both tales, see e.g., (Cervantes 2002b, p. 294; Cervantes 2002a, p. 347); cf. (Forcione 1984, p. 127); (El Saffar 1976, pp. 85–86); (El Saffar 1974, pp. 68, 75); (Teuber 2005, pp. 249–50, 257); (Gaylord 2002, pp. 113, 115); (Boyd 2010, pp. 39–40); (Kohlhauer 2002, p. 65); “the world of Cañizares is oneiric, too, […] a dream world in a world of dreams” (Nerlich 1989, p. 295). A crucial precedent in this respect—and also as to animal narration—is Lucian’s “The Dream, or the Cock”, featuring a speaking rooster (Lucian 1915, passim; thereto, see especially, pp. 184–90, passim); cf. spec. “The cock talked like a human being!”; “Then do you think it a miracle if I talk the same language as you men?” (p. 175, §2); “Why, this is not a dream, is it?” (p. 177, §3); “A philosopher cock!” (p. 181, §4); etc. As to Aesop, Ovid, Apuleius, Lucian, Rabelais, Des Périers (“Cymbalum Mundi”), Villalón (“El Crótalon”), see (Kohlhauer 2002, pp. 56, 60, spec. 64–68, 70, 74–75, 81, passim; here pp. 70, 70n.); as to Lucian, Villalón, cf. also (Nolting-Hauff 1987, pp. 184–90, passim; and pp. 190–195 re the colloquy); as regards the coloquio vis-à-vis the “Baldus”, see (Blecua 1972, pp. 175–78, here p. 175). Beusterien’s claim that “[t]he animals in important source texts of ‘The Dialogue of the Dogs’ are bereft of language” (Beusterien 2016, p. 37; cf. p. 38; contrast p. 51) is problematic—spec. since he briefly glances at Lucian, at des Périers (p. 38); his discarding the latter is based on the fact that “Cervantes never mentions that the dogs have consumed or incorporated a human tongue in order to speak” (Beusterien 2016, p. 38). The narrative framework and the dogs (in the coloquio itself) explicitly accumulate a considerable number of other possible motivations for the capacity for speech on the part of the canines: their being metamorphosed humans, the whole scene being a miracle, a dream, a feverish vision or hallucination induced by Campuzano’s treatment (likely for syphilis), a poetic tour de force on the part of Campuzano, etc.; in Spadaccini’s/Talens’ felicitous wording: “The reader enters the world of the Coloquio through a series of filters” (Spadaccini and Talens 1989, p. 226). Of a similarly problematic status as a nondifferentiation of a text’s various narrative planes is the conflation of the intra- with the extratextual level: “Cervantes accurately had his Berganza tell us” (Alves 2011, p. 84). It is precisely from the perspective of Animal Studies that claiming authorial intent (especially if harnessed as a warrant for a perceived authenticity) will effectively spirit away the animal in the process. A mindful, even wary correlation of the various textual planes potentially present simultaneously (e.g., literal, putatively authorial, discursive, epistemological, etc.) is requisite, in order to bring an animal into focus in its capacity as animal. When Beusterien briefly refers to “the ensign” for purposes of a construal combining “psychoanalytic interpretations” and “Animal Studies”, he asserts that Campuzano actively narrates (“the oral telling of the dog dialogue itself”, (Beusterien 2016, p. 42)) or ‘reads’ the coloquio ‘to’ Peralta (“the ensign’s […] reading to his friend”, p. 42n.), neither of which is supported by the text. If opting, as Beusterien does throughout, for the supposition of a perceived authorial intent as the (sole) basis for his case, and for what he takes to be the respectively authoritative reading—cf. e.g., “This intentional lack” (Beusterien 2016, p. 38); “Cervantes deliberately emphasizes” (p. 39); “Cervantes anticipates postures from Animal Studies” (p. 42); “Berganza, a creature intentionally defined” (p. 47); “Cervantes intentionally tangles” (p. 49; cf. pp. 50, 53); “‘The Dialogue of the Dogs’ should be read as disposing of certain foundational anthropocentric precepts” (p. 54)—maintaining the impression of having focused on ‘the animal as animal’, “studying the animal itself” (p. 35), on the “elimination of the animal as figure” (Beusterien 2016, p. 36; cf. pp. 8, 109) might prove difficult; and all the more so, when insisting on a biographically inflected poetics: “I have given preference to the stuttering thesis as an influence in Cervantes’ creation of the talking dogs […] Cervantes’ stuttering inspired him to conceive the human-animal divide in the innovative ways that he does” (Beusterien 2016, p. 39n.); cf. (Beusterien 2009, pp. 218–19). With respect to apparently oneirically induced animal speech in general, see also Fudge’s reference to “Artemidorus’s dream text”, and “the speaking animal of the dream” (Fudge 2006, pp. 35–36); as well as Perry on “Woodhouse’s Flea speak[ing] for himself […] from the shelter of a Dog’s ear”—which speech act “is framed by two dreams” (Perry 2004, p. 30).
See this arch-rhetorical (forensic) technique: “in utramque partem vel in plures” (Quintilian 2001, p. 156, 3.11.2); cf. (Mayfield 2017b, pp. 14–16).
Cf. “What matters is not the truth, but the virtuosity of the ‘engaño’” (Gossy 1989, p. 72). Rhetorically, this pertains to the function of delectare, chiefly produced by the elocutio (including the ornatus) and actio; see Scipio’s metapoetical remarks (Cervantes 2016b, pp. 455–56; Cervantes 2002a, p. 304); Campuzano on his lady: “tenía un tono de habla tan suave que se entraba por los oídos en el alma” (Cervantes 2002b, p. 284; cf. p. 285). Generally: “el deleite mucho mayor es imaginado que gozado” (Cervantes 2002a, p. 343, cf. p. 342); see (Hart 1979, p. 383); (Teuber 2005, p. 257); (Boyd 2010, pp. 22, 39); cum grano salis (Dunn 2010, pp. 97–101). On the etymological ‘sweetness’ in the word ‘persuasion’, see (Bers 1994, p. 188); (Mayfield 2017b, p. 19n.; Mayfield 2017d, p. 210).
See (El Saffar 1974, pp. 72, 74, 78, 81). Structurally, this attitude echoes that on the part of Campuzano’s lady: “parecía que les [sc. ‘demonstraciones’, ‘ofrecimientos’, ‘razones’] daba atento oído antes que crédito alguno” (Cervantes 2002b, p. 284). Cf. Cummings’ felicitous formulation in another context: “He [sc. Browne] knows his readers will not believe him, but they will half want to, and they will play along with his game” (Cummings 2004, p. 166).
Cf. (Forcione 1984, pp. 11, 168). For this textual strategy (with corresponding images), as précised by the siglo de oro’s grand maestro of rhetoric, see (Gracián 2011, p. 180, §144; pp. 217–18, §210; p. 245, §267); cf. (Mayfield 2015, pp. 206–7, 233–34); on the ‘decoy’ in Gracián, see (Küpper 2007, pp. 426–27). Cf. and contrast: “The tone is light and ironical throughout, but behind it is the grim assumption that speaking ill of others is one of the most damaging things in life” (Riley 1976, p. 195). Generally, cf. “Talking animals […] sugar the instructive pill; they exist to entertain” (Perry 2004, p. 20).
Like the comprehensive art of rhetoric, a text’s discursive (sub- or super)structure is located at an (often latent) metalevel. Throughout this essay, the heuristico-hermeneutic application of discourse analysis to literary texts follows Küpper’s take on the Foucauldian blueprint (Küpper 1990, pp. 30–32, spec. 31n.); cf. (Küpper 2001, passim). On sermocinatio, see (Rhetorica 2004, pp. 394–99, IV.lii.65); for varying terminologies, cf. (Lausberg 1990, p. 140, §425; pp. 142–143, §§432–433; Lausberg 2008; pp. 406–13, §§817–829).
To say nothing of the host of passages on “dumb idols” (Hab 2:18, 1Cor 12:2; KJV; cf. e.g., Ps 115: 4–7, 135:15–17); nor of these notoriously thorny lines (Lev 24:16; Mt 12:31–32; Mk 3:29). As everyone knows, there is also a speaking serpent in Gen 3:1, 4–5; naturally, this particular precedent for animal narration in Scripture will likely be considered rather problematic, in a Christian context. Cf. Cummings, noting (with regard to Early Modern England): “As if to provide authority, Browne cites (with disingenuous seriousness) ‘the Serpent that spake unto Eve’ and dogs and cats that talk to witches” (Cummings 2004, p. 165). For speaking animals (donkey, dog, lion) in Scriptural traditions from a dogmatic point of view, see also (Hobgood-Oster 2014, passim), with spec. reference also to Balaam’s speaking donkey at Num 22:28–30 (pp. 217–18); the readings—including a “story of a preaching dog” from “The Acts of Peter” in “Christian apocrypha”—are problematic (p. 218; cf. p. 219), to the extent that they may seem to be uncritically dogmatic; as to the centrality of the lógos in the Christian tradition, see also (Hobgood-Oster 2014, passim, spec. pp. 211–15, cum grano salis). Generally—and like the Cervantine œuvre overall—the coloquio teems with (largely) oblique references to Scripture, see (Forcione 1984, p. 72, passim). As to the fiat lux with regard to the present thematic focus, see also: “Wären wir Gott gleich, so würden die Geschichten, die wir uns ausdenken, selbst zu Wirklichkeiten, in denen wir uns ausdrücken”—thus Blumenberg’s paraphrase of a sentence on the part of Campanella: “ut cum fabulas fingimus, quas realiter exprimeremus si Deo aequivalentes essemus”, qtd. in (Blumenberg 1986, pp. 83, 83n.).
The doctrinal plane is also inscribed into the witch’s tale (Cervantes 2016b, pp. 487–95), suggesting that Berganza and Scipio are human brothers in houndlike shape. She cites a prophecy, see (Cervantes 2016b, p. 490; Cervantes 2002a, p. 338), concerning their (potential) retransformation, which alludes to a suitably distorted mélange—cf. (Forcione 1984, pp. 44–46); (Gossy 1989, pp. 79, 130n.); (Boyd 2010, p. 39); (Dunn 2010, p. 100)—of various Scriptural passages (among others: Dan 4:37, with context; Isa 2:11–17, 40:4; Lk 1:51–52, 3:5, 14:11; Mt 23:12, 28:18) with a revelational tendency. In a rhetorical analysis of sermocinatio (at various levels), it must be rendered problematic what is put into the mouth of whom—e.g., a hag teaching a dog on dogmatic matters of the Faith, his account thereof being additionally mediated via the intratextual reader (Peralta) and author (Campuzano).
Likewise, Scipio states: “si el cielo me concede tiempo, lugar y habla” (Cervantes 2002a, p. 322). See Sieber’s felicitous formulation: “El don del hablar es el punto de origen de su vida” (Sieber 2002, p. 37). For the discursive implications: “What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s” (1Cor 6:19–20; KJV). See an orthodox articulation of ‘life on loan’ in Calderón’s later El gran teatro del mundo: “¿Cómo me quitas lo que ya me diste?”—“Porque dados no fueron, no: prestados/sí, para el tiempo que el papel hiciste” (Calderón 2009, p. 81, vv.1296–1298); see (Epictetus 1928a, pp. 490–91, §11; pp. 496–97, §17); cf. (Mayfield 2015, p. 59n.). On the Council of Trent, the Tridentine Counter-Reformation, generally and re Cervantes, cf. (Küpper 1990, pp. 21–23, 25, 287–290, 387n., 459–460, passim); with (Küpper 2000, pp. 178–79, 193n., 197–98, 199n., 201n., 203–4, 212n.–213n.; Küpper 2005, pp. 218–19); (Forcione 1984, p. 196); (Spadaccini and Talens 1989, pp. 212, 238–39); (Nolting-Hauff 1987, pp. 191–92); on the novelas, see (Teuber 2005, pp. 243–44); (Gossy 1989, p. 59); contrast (Atkinson 1986, p. 131)—who thus does not render sufficiently problematic the following: “investing dogs with the power of speech, a liberty for which also there was sound precedent” (p. 138); see (Aylward 2010, p. 256).
Cf. “a set (Einstellung) toward” (Jakobson 1987a, p. 66). Generally, any type of text, particularly those of an expressly literary make, are polyfunctional constructs—from both a productive (poetic) and a receptive (hermeneutic) point of view. Historically, various rhetorical traditions log the functions of docere (prodesse), delectare, movere—usually all with a view to persuadere or dissuadere, cf. (Mayfield 2017b, p. 19n.). For the Horatian “aut prodesse […] aut delectare” (Horace 2005, p. 478, v.333); cf. “gusto o provecho” in the witch’s tale (Cervantes 2002a, p. 341); the ars poetica is mentioned on (p. 355); see Berganza’s aiming at taking Scipio’s advice to recount events “de manera que enseñen y deleiten a un mismo punto” (Cervantes 2002a, p. 307); cf. (Boyd 2010, pp. 40–41); (Thompson 2010, pp. 265–66, passim); with the context cum grano salis, cf. (Atkinson 1986, pp. 138–39); re “mezclar […] lo útil con lo dulce” in connection with cynicism (Cervantes 2005, p. 20); cf. (Riley 1976, pp. 194–95). On polyfunctionality and rhetoric, cf. (Mayfield 2017b, pp. 5–8, 5n.–6n., 8n., 14n., 33n.).
Cf. “the specific world view of Hapsburg Spain […] that reality is in the text and is part of its structure” (Spadaccini and Talens 1989, p. 214); “the reader plays a central role in the construction of meaning” (p. 216); “The reading of the Casamiento/Coloquio […] entails the discovery of the rhetorical structure of our perceptions of reality; an […] encounter with a world constructed out of a confluence of discourses through the […] tricks of language” (p. 231); “From a rhetorical standpoint, one of the techniques used by art and literature to persuade was to implicate the reader/spectator in the work itself. […] the power of interpretation is ‘given’ to the reader/spectator in order to make the manipulation (and the persuasion) more viable” (Spadaccini and Talens 1989, p. 240); cf. “the creative act of reading belongs to the actual reality of the text itself” (Nerlich 1989, p. 254); “Cervantes’s complex fictionalization of the reading process in the Dogs’ Colloquy. […] this kind of activation of the reader” (Forcione 1989, p. 336; cf. p. 345). For an ethical reading re “tropelía y engaño literario: El coloquio de los perros es una mentira que quiere ser en su propio modo una verdad” (Sieber 2002, p. 38; cf. p. 31); see (Teuber 2005, p. 258); (Hart 1979, pp. 379–80).
Jakobson’s linguistico-literary description of communicational situations suggests six functions (and corresponding factors): the emotive (addresser), conative (addressee), referential (context), metalingual (code), phatic (contact), and poetic (message); cf. (Jakobson 1987a, passim, spec. pp. 66–71)—all of which will be present in most any form of semiotic interaction, albeit to differing degrees of predominance; these may differ from an intra- or extratextual perspective. Poetic and hermeneutic emphases tend to vary (even be at variance), since any recipient all but inevitably refunctionalizes anything received—a process also influenced by how a semiotic artifact has been conceived.
Cipión had requested: “me cuentes tu vida y los trances por donde has venido al punto en que ahora te hallas” (Cervantes 2002a, p. 301); cf. Berganza’s summary remark towards the end, with Nominalist couleur re contingency—generally thereto, cf. (Küpper 1990, pp. 41–44, 263–90, spec. 270–72, 277; Küpper 2000, pp. 210–15)—“¿Ves mis muchos y diversos sucesos? ¿Consideras mis caminos y mis amos tantos?” (Cervantes 2002a, p. 354). These rhetorical questions are paradigmatic of polyfunctionality: the emotive and conative function are accentuated; the poetic one is present in various forms of parallelism, in the cumulative consonance based on the high density of the letter ‹s›. Regarding the “comediantes”, Berganza details the focus and content of his observations (“noté, averigüé y vi”) in this percursio (partly representative re other episodes): “su proceder, su vida, sus costumbres, sus ejercicios, su trabajo, su ociosidad, su ignorancia y su agudeza, con otras infinitas cosas” (Cervantes 2002a, p. 354).
See “la admiración que nos causó el vernos con habla” (Cervantes 2002a, p. 336); cf. (Gaylord 2002, p. 115); cf. “Hablan sobre la posibilidad de hablar (como Cervantes habla en el Prólogo de la posibilidad de prologar)” (Sieber 2002, p. 35).
In its generally metalingual context—cf. “Este nombre se compone de dos nombres griegos” (Cervantes 2002a, p. 320)—the pun in ‘añadiendo colas al pulpo’, with Berganza remarking “no se llaman colas las del pulpo” (p. 319), seems a rhetorico-semantic paronomasia, melding ‘colon’ (from Greek ‘kólon’) with ‘cola’; for another reasoning, see (Forcione 1984, p. 6n.; cf. pp. 227–28); on wordplay in the coloquio, see (Hart 1979, p. 383). The account of Berganza’s and Scipio’s being human brothers in canine shape is additionally motivated poetically: the sorceress causative of their alleged metamorphosis—“Tuvo fama que convertía los hombres en animales” (Cervantes 2002a, p. 337)—is supposed to be able to “hacer nacer berros”, a patent paronomasia with the “perros” she is then said to have ‘midwifed’; cf. “mostróle que había parido dos perritos”, “este perruno parto de otra parte viene”, “ella había convertido a sus hijos en perros” (Cervantes 2002a, p. 338); cf. (Forcione 1984, p. 155n.). For the ‘paronomastic’ “metamorphosis” in “Canis, Cañizares, ‘Canization’”, see (Kohlhauer 2002, p. 54; trans. dsm).
Cf. (Forcione 1984, pp. 10, 41, 102, 126–27, 138); (El Saffar 1976, pp. 58, 84–86, passim; El Saffar 1974, pp. 64, 76, 82–85); (Gossy 1989, pp. 57–58); (Schmauser 1996, pp. 159–60); (Teuber 2005, p. 257); (Boyd 2010, pp. 15–16, 41); (Aylward 2010, pp. 235, 239–58); (Spadaccini and Talens, p. 228); (Kohlhauer 2002, pp. 75, 81). The coloquio commences with an ironic marker (typical of Cervantine écriture), then echoed at the end: “[la] merced que el cielo en un mismo punto a los dos nos ha hecho” (Cervantes 2002a, p. 299); “El acabar […] y el despertar […] fue todo a un tiempo” (p. 359); cf. (Boyd 2010, pp. 16, 41). For internal parallelisms featuring slight variations with considerable discursive import: “la ociosidad, raíz y madre de todos los vicios” (Cervantes 2002a, p. 310); cf. (1Tim 6:10, 2Thess 3:6–13, spec. v.10); “la ociosidad sea madre de los pensamientos” (Cervantes 2002a, p. 318). Cf. Johnson’s metapoetical statement: “We are left, as usual, where Cervantes so often leaves us, with […] multiple perspectives, and […] competing voices” (Johnson 1991, p. 22).
This must all the more caution against anachronistic construals, against spiriting away the reader or recipient.
On the various “modi tractandi”, here spec. “sermocinatio” qua ‘putting words into the mouth of’, see (Lausberg 2008, pp. 532–33, §1105; p. 543, §§1131–1132)—with ‘delegating one’s voice’ being a device of indirection. On “memoria” and “inventio” with regard to Cervantes, cf. (Nerlich 1989, pp. 264–65).
Refunctionalizing the concept of “motivation” mutatis mutandis (Jakobson 1987b, pp. 26–27); cf. (Küpper 1990, pp. 41–42, 41n.–42n.). At a literal level, cf. also: “el único animal que se ajustaba a la intención satírica del Coloquio era precisamente el perro, por su doble condición de animal doméstico, hábil escrutador de vidas cotidianas, y de andariego y callejero. Ni el asno ni el gallo le servían para ello” (Blecua 1972, p. 177). Like other domestic beings (or, as Blecua argues above, more than others), dogs tend to be perceived by humankind as quasi-go-between entities—hence (literarily) expedient for evincing various forms of human–animal interaction. Generally speaking, dogs may have always seemed to give humankind the impression that they were striving to communicate; the particularly close—spatial, physical—proximity that has (arguably all but always) obtained between these species may be seen to provide the (factual) basis for a continued semiotic interaction characterized by reciprocity, mutuality; hence: “reading a dog’s bodily movements as communication is not anthropomorphic, but is an acknowledgement of the shared embodiment that makes all languages possible” (Raber 2013, p. 192n.).
Cf. e.g., (Riley 1976, pp. 195–96); (Gaylord 2002, pp. 111–12); (Boyd 2010, p. 5); (Dunn 2010, p. 98); (Nerlich 1989, pp. 306–7); (Forcione 1989, p. 340). Contrast Hart’s sober (qua ‘sachlich‘) approach (Hart 1979, pp. 383–84, 385n., 386n.).
Cf. (Riley 1976, pp. 196–197); (El Saffar 1976, p. 45); (Forcione 1984, pp. 13–14, 133). On the coloquio with respect to Cynicism, see (Forcione 1984, pp. 5–6, 6n., 29–30, 56, 132, 155–56, 155n., 166, 171–76, 180–83, 201, 219, 227); (Ziolkowski 1983, pp. 101–2); (Hart 1979, pp. 381, 386n.); cf. and contrast (Antonio 1953, cum grano salis throughout, due to its biographistic approach, pp. 293–95, 304–7, passim, and problematic conception of cynicism, pp. 295, 297–98, 303, 306–7); to some extent, the former and latter set of problems applies also to (Riley 1976, pp. 191, 196–98); cf. the echoes in (Aylward 2010, pp. 235–37); see also (Montauban 2006, passim, spec. pp. 770–72), (Montauban 2009, passim, spec. pp. 395–97), both cum grano salis; for a brief and problematic mention, cf. (Dümchen 1989, p. 113).
See (Sieber 2002, p. 31); cf. “this extraordinary two-part finale” (Gaylord 2002, p. 113); “the summation of the entire moral thrust of the Novelas” (Boyd 2010, p. 41; cf. p. 42).
As to a multilevel approach, see Küpper’s explication (with reference to Aristotle, Lotman) regarding “welchen Grad an Abstraktion die Literatur erreicht, welchen Profils also ihr kognitiver Anspruch ist”: spec. “dass ein literarischer Text in dieser Hinsicht eben jenen Grad erreicht, den wir ihm als Leser zuschreiben”; hence: “das entsprechende Niveau von Verallgemeinerung ist in das Benehmen des Rezipienten gestellt”—with it being possible “im Akt der Lektüre mehrere denkbare Ebenen des Allgemeinen zu erproben und zwischen diesen Ebenen hin- und herzuwechseln” (Küpper 2013, p. 265).
Within the coloquio, Cipión performs an exegesis of Camacha’s (supposedly prophetic) verses, trying to read them allegorically: “sus palabras se han de tomar en un sentido que he oído decir se llama al[e]górico, el cual sentido no quiere decir lo que la letra suena, sino otra cosa” (Cervantes 2002a, p. 346); when that has apparently proven unsuccessful, he opts for the ‘literal sense’: “no en el sentido alegórico, sino en el literal, se han de tomar los versos de la Camacha” (p. 347); and when this proves inconsistent with the facts—precisely since “nos estamos tan perros como ves” (p. 347)—he rejects the verses and witches altogether.
Concerning the Quijote, Küpper states: “the author favors the oblique modus as a result of fundamental considerations” (Küpper 2005, p. 219n.; trans. dsm); Nolting-Hauff accentuates “a particularly wary mode of expression” on the part of Cervantes (Nolting-Hauff 1987, p. 192; trans. dsm). Overall, as Forcione notes, “Cervantes tends to exploit the value system of his society to construct his works” (Forcione 1989, p. 350); cf. also (Nolting-Hauff 1987, pp. 191–92); (Küpper 2000, p. 179)—the latter with the universal remark as to “was sich hinter wohlfeilen Formeln zu verbergen pflegt: Abgründe” (p. 184n.).
See (Rahe 2007, pp. 42–43, 42n.); (Mayfield 2015, p. 95n.); cf. and contrast (Riley 1976, pp. 189, 191–92); referring to Riley, see also (Montauban 2009, p. 395).
On the Gesta Romanorum, see Largier (1997, pp. 246–48), giving an exemplum featuring a familiar Alexander–Diogenes encounter, from a 1342 manuscript—cf. (Oesterley 1872, p. 589, §183, germ. §15); see the Medieval Spanish libro de los enxemplos (~13th century), cited in (Largier 1997, pp. 204–5), referring to Valerius Maximus, to Seneca’s de beneficiis for its moral message—see (Seneca 2006, pp. 298–99, V.iv.3–4). Cf. the 13th century El libro de los buenos proverbios, “also translated into Hebrew”, based on an “Arabic collection of sayings […] of the 9th century” (Largier 1997, p. 208n.; trans. dsm). On the 13th century Bocados de Oro, see (Bocados 1971, pp. 39a–44, X); (Largier 1997, pp. 188–96); cf. (Mayfield 2015, p. 23n.); as to the “Medieval ‘genres’” of “the exempla and the novas” (Spadaccini and Talens 1989, p. 210; see pp. 211–213); cum grano salis, cf. (Beusterien 2016, pp. 8, 37–40, 49, 51, 53–54, 57). The above might demonstrate the transcultural, translingual prevalence of the matter at hand. Rather than to a historical individual, it refers to a literary persona commonly called ‘Diogenes the Dog/Cynic (of Sinope)’—cf. “ὁ Κύων” (Aristotle 2006, p. 400, III.x.7, 1411a)—continually constructed and construed over the course of a considerable tradition enduring to this day: “the story of Diogenes, like a snowball rolled downhill, gathered additions to itself as it went along” (Dudley 2003, p. 19); generally, see (Niehues-Pröbsting 1988, p. 18); (Mayfield 2015, pp. 11–12, 18–53, spec. 18n., 21n.–22n.).
On ‘chria’, (in)finite ‘sententia’, see (Lausberg 1990, pp. 130–31, §§398–399; Lausberg 2008, pp. 431–34, §§872–879, pp. 536–40, §§1117–1121); re the coloquio, cf. (Hart 1979, passim, spec. p. 380). For Blumenberg’s concept of “Umbesetzung”, ‘refunctionalization’, ‘reallocation’, cf. (Blumenberg 1999, pp. 52, 57–58, 60, 71, 87–88, passim; Blumenberg 1996, pp. 183–299); re applications, see (Küpper 1990, pp. 258, 274, 406, passim); (Mayfield 2015, p. 170n.; Mayfield 2017c, passim). For the present argument concerning the coloquio, it is needful to log a comparable presence of this textual strategy in the “Novela del licenciado Vidriera” (Cervantes 2002c, pp. 54–73); cf. (Riley 1976, pp. 190–95, passim); (Küpper 2000, pp. 180–90; re cynicism, pp. 186n.–187n., 190); (Ricapito 1996, pp. 85–88); (Dümchen 1989, passim). Refunctionalizations occur in terms of form and content—cf. (Cervantes 2016d, pp. 221–39), with (D. Laertius 2005, pp. 22–85, VI.20–81). The context—siglo de oro, Counter-Reformation Spain, the attribution of the protagonist’s wayward behavior to a mental condition caused by a substance administered against his will, see (Cervantes 2016d, p. 220)—produces (paradigmatic) alterations (in tendency); moreover, a textual strategy of aemulatio regarding the Diogenical ‘source type’ (Lotman’s term mutatis mutandis)—see (Lotman 1972, pp. 151, 151n.); cf. (Mayfield 2015, pp. 11–12, 12n., 19, 19n., 22–55, 272, 272n., 286)—holds sway throughout, while the basic structure of the anecdotes and sententiae remains discernible; cf. and contrast (Riley 1976, pp. 191–94, including examples); (Forcione 1982, p. 263, ch. 3 passim); cf. (Forcione 1984, pp. 6n., 7, 12n., 181, 201); (Schmauser 1996, pp. 87, 89–90). In terms of tendency, cf. e.g., the Cervantine version—“he would only drink water from springs or rivers, and that only with his hands. […] During the summers, he slept out in the countryside, out in the open [‘al cielo abierto’]” (Cervantes 2016d, p. 221; Cervantes 2002c, p. 54); the formulation “al cielo abierto” is also used by Berganza (Cervantes 2002a, p. 305)—with this account in D. Laertius: “One day, observing a child drinking out of his hands, he cast away the cup from his wallet with the words, ‘A child has beaten me in plainness of living’” (D. Laertius 2005, p. 39, VI.37); “In summer he was wont to roll around on the red-hot sand” (D. Laertius 2008, pp. 289–90, VI.23; trans. dsm); cf. (Mayfield 2015, pp. 46–48). In terms of structural affinity, cf. e.g., a Cervantine version—“One time, as he was standing in front of a tailor’s shop, he noticed that the fellow was standing around doing nothing [‘estaba mano sobre mano’]. He said to him: ‘There is no doubt about it, master tailor: you are on the path to salvation […], since you have nothing to do, you won’t have any occasion to tell lies’” (Cervantes 2016d, p. 231; Cervantes 2002c, p. 65)—with the following in D. Laertius: “to a man whose shoes were being put on by his servant, he said, ‘You have not attained to full felicity, unless he wipes your nose as well; and that will come, when you have lost the use of your hands’” (D. Laertius 2005, p. 47, VI.44); cf. (Mayfield 2015, p. 45). A penchant for wordplay is discernible in “The Glasswork Graduate” (in Cervantes generally) and D. Laertius passim; cf. “De las damas que llaman cortesanas decía que todas, o las más, tenían más de corteses que de sanas” (Cervantes 2002c, p. 71); for comparable puns, cf. pp. 63, 63n., 65, 65n., 67); with: “The school [‘scholèn’] of Euclides he [sc. ‘Diogenes’] called bilious [‘cholén’] and Plato’s lectures [‘diatribèn’] waste of time [‘katatribén’]” (D. Laertius 2005, pp. 26–27, VI.24); cf. (D. Laertius 2008, p. 290n.); (Dudley 2003, p. 57); (Mayfield 2015, p. 50n.; on Diogenical wordplay, p. 30n.). Generally, cf. “News of his madness [‘locura’] and of his answers and sayings extended throughout Castile” (Cervantes 2016d, p. 223; Cervantes 2002c, p. 56); “people of every walk of life were always hanging on his every word” (Cervantes 2016d, p. 228; cf. p. 230; Cervantes 2002c, pp. 61, 63); “In the end, he said so many such things that, if it were not for […] his dementia [‘locura’], anybody would have thought he was one of the wisest men in the world” (Cervantes 2016d, p. 239; Cervantes 2002c, p. 73)—statements that, mutatis mutandis, might plausibly be reapplied ‘backwards’ to ‘ho kýon’ (qua control); spec. in connection with the (paronomastic) comment on the apparent ‘madman’, embedded in a particular altercation: “más tenéis de bellaco que de loco” (Cervantes 2002c, p. 55). ‘Diogenes’ is dubbed “[a] Socrates gone mad” by ‘Plato’ (D. Laertius 2005, p. 54, VI.54); thereto, cf. (Mayfield 2015, p. 31). Figuratively at first, Berganza is described as “algún demonio en figura de perro”, dubbed “‘perro sabio’” (Cervantes 2002a, p. 333); later, some take it literally: “‘¡Apártense, que rabia el perro sabio!’ […] es Demonio en figura de perro” (p. 345).
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Mayfield, D. “Against the Dog Only a Dog”. Talking Canines Civilizing Cynicism in Cervantes’ “coloquio de los perros” (With Tentative Remarks on the Discourse and Method of Animal Studies). Humanities 2017, 6, 28. https://doi.org/10.3390/h6020028
Mayfield D. “Against the Dog Only a Dog”. Talking Canines Civilizing Cynicism in Cervantes’ “coloquio de los perros” (With Tentative Remarks on the Discourse and Method of Animal Studies). Humanities. 2017; 6(2):28. https://doi.org/10.3390/h6020028Chicago/Turabian Style
Mayfield, DS. 2017. "“Against the Dog Only a Dog”. Talking Canines Civilizing Cynicism in Cervantes’ “coloquio de los perros” (With Tentative Remarks on the Discourse and Method of Animal Studies)" Humanities 6, no. 2: 28. https://doi.org/10.3390/h6020028