By Susan McHugh
McHugh’s investigations into fictions of individuals counting on animals in civic life—most evidently these of provider animal clients and feminine specialist horse riders—showcase exceedingly smooth and human–animal sorts of intersubjectivity. yet more and more picture violence directed at those figures shows their ambivalent importance to altering configurations of species.
Reading those advancements with narrative diversifications of conventional better half species family in this interval— queer puppy memoirs and farm animal fictions—McHugh clarifies the intercorporeal intimacies—the perforations of species barriers now proliferating in genetic and genomic science—and embeds the illustration of animals inside of biopolitical frameworks.
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Additional info for Animal Stories : Narrating across Species Lines
The narrower focus on the blind detective’s wavering authority by the end of the twentieth century makes his mission all the more precarious, not the least because it brackets off the more complex bodily and social understandings made possible by his work with a guide dog. Instead of enabled or expanded by association with a dog, this character violently defends a sense of self that he sees as threatened on multiple fronts, indicating what is at stake not simply for assistance animals in the institutionalization of disability rights but more broadly for alienating disability from species discourses, blocking off the latter as a sort of ﬁnal frontier.
And it encourages audiences to take seriously the logical premise of the blind-detective genre, namely, that blindness can be an asset to a detective. Each episode features surreal, subjective shots that pare down crime scenes to highlight signiﬁcant elements, literally envisioning the kind of mental clarity that might come to a detective who is freed from the distractions of seeing many more irrelevant details. There are also precise limits to the ways in which viewers are encouraged to identify with this complex character.
In the beginning, this difference allows the blind man to assert intellectual superiority: Kendrick’s early and more didactic ﬁctions contrast his insightful blind detective, who efficiently enlists the help of both guard and guide dogs, with the obtuse lawmen via one running “sight” gag that shows the police detectives unable even to keep straight which kind of dog is dangerous. But the increasing loneliness and especially defensive aggression exhibited by such characters links them to all-too-human problems.
Animal Stories : Narrating across Species Lines by Susan McHugh