TIERethik - Zeitschrift zur Mensch-Tier-Beziehung


(No) Image-making. On the ethics of the trace in Jacques Derrida’s animal philosophy and in Christoph Ransmayr’s and Martin Pollack’s the Wolf Hunter
Alexander Kling

In a first step, the article examines three historically effective wolf images: the perhorrescent, the heroic and the ecological. I am particularly interested in the concept of the image, which I relate to Jacques Derrida’s ambiguous formulation “pas de loup”. This formulation can be translated as “trace of the wolf” as well as “no wolf”. In the next step, I analyse Christoph Ransmayr’s and Martin Pollack’s narrative The Wolf Hunter (2011) on the basis of the aforementioned theoretical considerations. It is a text that does not sketch an image of the wolf, but rather sets on the scene the making of the wolf images. I close my examination with a reflection on the tension of aesthetics and ethics which is constitutive for Literary Animal Studies. In this context, it is decisive not to see aesthetics and ethics in an oppositional relationship, but to look at their fundamental reciprocity.

Keywords: image, trace, absence, aesthetics, ethics