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.