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Document Type

Article

Publication Date

6-21-2015

Abstract

This review essay implicitly revisits human and non-human power relations within a critical animal studies context that understands the affective conjunction between the manipulation of our worlds (action, partly through knowledge) and degrees of involvement with these others that live in our worlds (comportment via emotions). I take Louise Westling’s new study as the platform for an analysis of two book-length poems, The Autobiography of Red (1998) and red doc> (2013), which centre on the life of a shepherd, Geryon. Rather than revisit classical pastoral, these texts extract power-relations that classical myth and pastoral spatialise. In so doing, I argue, they reclaim a site of the emotions within the scene of herding—itself a metaphor for containing animals, for channelling and managing resources, wildness. Carson’s treatment of emotions positions the reader to evaluate the border between human and non-human animals; to unpack and complicate the terms by which we might wish to make or unmake that very demarcation.