Literary Felinophilia and Animalistic Perspectives of Modernity (T. Gautier, J. Joyce, T. S. Eliot)

Tyumen State University Herald. Humanities Research. Humanitates


2021, Vol. 7. № 1 (25)

Literary Felinophilia and Animalistic Perspectives of Modernity (T. Gautier, J. Joyce, T. S. Eliot)

For citation: Marshaniya K. M., Ushakova O. M. 2021. “Literary Felinophilia and Animalistic Perspectives of Modernity (T. Gautier, J. Joyce, T. S. Eliot)”. Tyumen State University Herald. Humanities Research. Humanitates, vol. 7, no. 1 (25), pp. 106-127. DOI: 10.21684/2411-197X-2021-7-1-106-127

About the authors:

Kristina M. Marshaniya, Postgraduate Student, Department of Russian and Foreign Literature, University of Tyumen;; ORCID: 0000-0003-0218-0079

Olga M. Ushakova, Dr. Sci. (Phylol.), Professor, Department of Russian and Foreign Literature, University of Tyumen;; ORCID: 0000-0002-0656-3774


Each literary era is characterized by certain models of literary animalism with their own semantic accents and symbolism, types of communication “man — animal”, genre preferences. The article examines the features of literary felinistics of the Art Nouveau era, identifies the cultural and social causes of artistic felinophilia. As a material for the study there were three texts written in the period from 1869 to 1939, considered both in the wide cultural context of the modern era, and within the boundaries of their time (modern): “Ménagerie intime”, 1869 by Gaultier T., “The Cats of Copenhagen’’ (1936) by Joyce J. and “Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats” (1939) by Eliot T. S. In the course of our research, we relied on both historical and literary works devoted to the analysis of specific animalistic images, works of a culturological nature, and also turned to the experience of structuralist studies and the ideas of new posthumanistic knowledge (Human-Animal Studies). The animalistic texts of Gauthier — Joyce — Eliot unite not only the acting cat characters, but also certain artistic perspectives, similar types of human-animal relationships, social and cultural contexts in which their heroes are represented. The feline characters of Gauthier-Joyce-Eliot have much in common: they are anthropomorphic inhabitants of the urban space of the industrial era, leading an appropriate lifestyle and possessing qualities inherent in the middle class. Gautier, Joyce, Eliot’s cats have a bright personality, extraordinary abilities, a lively mind, a rich emotional world, they live according to the laws of human society. They are attractive, intelligent, vital, civilized individuals with unique, eccentric characters (humors).


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