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Open Access ‘[H]et dier in al zijn toonaarden’ - Over zoöpoëticale configuraties in Charlotte Mutsaers’ beeldend en literair werk

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This article aims to highlight the prominent place and role of the animal in the literary and visual work of the Dutch writer and artist Charlotte Mutsaers (1942-). The border-crossing between human and animal will be dealt with on the basis of the interaction between image and text in Mutsaers’s oeuvre. In this intermedial perspective, I first focus on three images of Mutsaers’s visual work exemplifying the human-animal masquerade. Secondly, I consider her novel Koetsier Herfst (2008) in which the animal also enacts a crucial function through the figurative and performative force of Mutsaers’s writing. Recent research in the field of Cultural and Literary Animal Studies (CLAS) and ethico-philosophical reflections are used as theoretical frame. Starting from Steve Baker’s ‘representational strategies’ (1993) of the animal (i.e. theriomorphism and therianthropism) and Gilles Deleuze’s theory on the ‘becoming-animal’, this article sheds new light on the subversive functions and non-restrictive meaning of the animal in Mutsaers’s artistic practice in the broadest sense of the word. The analysed figurative strategies in Mutsaers’s work bring a significant reversal of perspective to light: from the human to the animal.
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Keywords: Mutsaers; dieren; intermedialiteit

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: assistente Nederlandse letterkunde aan de Universitæ#169; catholique de Louvain, Louvain-la-Neuve, België

Publication date: 01 May 2014

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  • Het tijdschrift Nederlandse Letterkunde is een wetenschappelijk, peer-reviewed tijdschrift voor de Nederlandstalige letterkunde. Het tijdschrift is een podium voor vakbeoefening in al haar vormen en facetten. De diverse bijdragen beslaan in hun totaliteit het gehele spectrum van Nederlandstalige letterkunde van de Middeleeuwen tot heden. Een jaargang Nederlandse Letterkunde telt drie afleveringen waarvan er steeds één aan een actueel thema gewijd wordt.

    The Dutch-language journal Nederlandse Letterkunde (Dutch Literature) is an academic peer-reviewed journal for Dutch literature. The various contributions cover the entire spectrum of Dutch literature from the Middle Ages to the present. Nederlandse Letterkunde publishes three issues a year of which one is devoted to a contemporary topic.
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