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FlirtationsRhetoric and Aesthetics This Side of Seduction$
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Daniel Hoffman-Schwartz, Barbara Natalie Nagel, and Lauren Shizuko Stone

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780823264896

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: January 2016

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823264896.001.0001

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Mediation More Ferarum

(p.125) Bestiality

Jacques Lezra

Fordham University Press

This chapter discloses how in Wilhelm Jensen’s Gradiva and in Freud’s reading of the novella lizards, canaries, and flies become instances of bestiality that enables flirtation. In Freud and Jensen, desire always goes through “the mediating figure of the animal that desires and is desired, whose custom, habit, or culture it is to express its desire as beasts do, more bestiarum.” It is argued that after Freud we are invited, or enjoined, to acknowledge that we are driven to acts and decisions not by principle alone or mainly, nor by the love of wisdom, not in the main by philosophical or scientific desire, but also according to the custom of the beasts, according to the customary ethos of the animal, because some animal winks fetchingly at us.

Keywords:   Wilhelm Jensen, Gradiva, Sigmund Freud, bestiality

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