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Literary Criticism General

Modern Animalism

Habitats of Scarcity and Wealth in Comics and Literature

by (author) Glenn Willmott

University of Toronto Press, Scholarly Publishing Division
Initial publish date
May 2012
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    May 2012
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From T. S. Eliot’s Sweeney to C. S. Lewis’s Aslan, modern writing has been filled with strange new hybrid human-animal creatures. Feeding on consumer society, these ‘modern primitive’ figures often challenge mainstream ideals by discovering wealth in habitats and resources rather than in economic exchange. What compels our post-human identification with these characters?

Modern Animalism explores representations of the human-animal ‘problem creature’ in a broad assortment of literature and comics from the late nineteenth century to the present — including authors such as Woolf, Joyce, Lawrence, Moore, Murakami, Pullman, Coetzee, and Atwood, and comics creators such as McCay, Herriman, Miyazaki, and Morrison. Drawing on a wide range of scholarship, from environmental economics to psychology, Glenn Willmott examines modern and post-modern allegories of the environment, the animal, and economics, highlighting the enduring and seductive appeal of the modern primitive in an age when living with less remains a powerful cultural wish.

About the author

Glenn Willmott is a professor in the Department of English at Queen's University.

Glenn Willmott's profile page

Editorial Reviews

‘Glenn Wilmott’s Modern Animalism offers elegant new reading of the modern rea through an ecological lens… Wilmott has tapped into the discomfiting zeitgeist of our time and shaped discussion to which literary scholars can add their voices.’

Canadian Literature 219, winter 2013

Other titles by Glenn Willmott