Between metaphor and materialization. Heteronormativity and becoming animal
in Monika Fagerholm’s short story “Patricia Kanin (Patricia Rabbit)”
Literary transformations from human to animal is a figuration that occurs
already in ancient literature, but is frequently employed also in modern times,
particularly in science fiction, fantasy, horror-stories and children’s literature.
In this article, however, I study this figuration as it appears in a realistic text,
Monika Fagerholm’s short story “Patricia Kanin (Patricia Rabbit)” from the
collection of short stories
, published in 1990. Employing the terms
intra-activity (Karen Barad), performativity (Judith Butler), becoming (Gilles
Deleuze), the Human club (Judith Halberstam) and animaling (Nina Lykke),
as well as a non-hierarchical, non-metaphorical view of the relationship between
human and animal (Jacques Derrida), I discuss how the figuration of
transformation in “Patricia Kanin” enlighten the social and political processes
through which a human body is denied or granted humanity. The realistic context
in the text elucidates the close connection between the process of becoming
human and heteronormative concepts of primarily sexuality and gender, but
also age and ethnicity.
Stockholm: Kristiansstads boktryckeri , 2011. Vol. 16, no 4, 53-84 p.