The dog, the home and the human, and the ancestry of Derrida's cat

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There are many stories, told by philosophers, historians, poets, about dogs, those loyal companions of our moments of recreation. In these stories, which are often played out in the most familiar locations, the absence of the dog is a mark of disorder, its presence order, and thus we find ourselves, in these tales we tell, at home, at peace – with dogs. Indeed, the stories told about dogs, we might argue, are never really about dogs at all, they are always about humans. These are stories that tell of a desire for completion – for self-knowledge, self-possession,
security and stability – but which also have the potential to record – in the dog’s death or disappearance – the fragility of such self-knowledge, self-possession, security and stability.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)37-54
Number of pages18
JournalOxford Literary Review
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2007


  • dogs
  • cats
  • history of animals
  • human
  • philosophy


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