The Cat and the Human Imagination: Feline Images from Bast to Garfield

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University of Michigan Press, 1 mars 2001 - 232 pages
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The Cat and the Human Imagination is a fascinating historical survey of the changing cultural attitudes towards cats and the myriad ways that they have been depicted in literature and art. Feline images have permeated civilization since the time of the ancient Egyptians, and during this time the status of the cat has changed dramatically. The book examines the changing images-- fertility goddess, sly little predator, agent of Satan, avenging witness, aristocrat, friend, spirit of the home, bloodthirsty killer, seductive female--and relates them to the contexts in which they arose. It also analyzes how human attitudes towards cats seem to have evolved in parallel with attitudes towards animals, towards authority, and towards gender.
Western literature and visual art have reflected this change, developing from bare sketches to richly varied expressions of feline personality and human interaction with cats. Katharine M. Rogers seeks out the cats who make appearances in an impressive range of literary and artistic works, providing the first critical look at the symbolic functioning of cat characters in Poe's "The Black Cat," Dickens's Bleak House, and Zola's Therese Raquin, among other literary works. The historical and artistic range covered is impressive, creating a rich compendium that is the ideal book for the cat lover seeking a refreshingly substantial and scholarly work about this fascinating animal.
"This book is a classic-- something every cat-loving intellectual will have to own. (No one, of course, ever really owns a cat--but everyone should own this book.) It's the kind of book you want to quote from at the vet's, or cocktail parties, or whenever you get the urge to convert a dog lover to the true faith." --Emily Toth, Louisiana State University
Katharine M. Rogers is Professor Emerita of English, City University of New York. Her previous books include Feminism in Eighteenth-Century England and Frances Burney: The World of "Female Difficulties."
  

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Table des matières

Why Cats Inspire Our Imagination
1
A Noel Addition to the Household
7
The Harmless Necessary Cat
19
Agents of the Devil
45
Bearers of Magic and Mystery
59
Nemess and Detectives
73
Cherished Companions
83
Sweet Spirits of Home
101
Fur People
129
Successful Rivals to Dogs
143
Why Cats are Hated
153
Cats as WomenWomen as Cats
165
The Tiger in the House
187
Bibliography
197
Index
211
Droits d'auteur

Engaging Lawbreakers and Charming Egotists
115

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Katharine M. Rogers
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The Cat and the Human Imagination: Feline Images from Bast to Garfield (University of Michigan Press, 1998; paperback, 2000) examines human attitudes toward ...
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À propos de l'auteur (2001)

Katharine M. Rogers is a freelance writer living in Bethesda, Maryland, and the author of "Cat" in Reaktion's Animal series.

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