Reviews of the human/animal relationship than might be found within the more Marxist/historicist critical vein cited by Lundblad. Despite some concerns about its limited attention to naturalist scholarship, The Birth of a Jungle succeeds largely because of its compelling consideration of Darwinian and Freudian ideas, not as separate intellectual developments, but as essential strands of a distinct discourse that arises in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. While Lundblad incorporates Foucauldian critique, both directly and indirectly, in his argument, he is quick to point out the limitations of drawing large-scale conclusions about modernity without attending to the unique characteristics of the either the text or its historical moment, as well as rapidly shifting attitudes about human-animal relationships during this period. The text further benefits from brief analyses of largely forgotten incidents, such as the public execution a circus elephant in 1903 in Coney Island, as well as more familiar episodes, such as the William Jennings Bryan's involvement in the 1925 Scopes Monkey Trial. While Lundblad's analyses are contingent upon reconsidering the place of animals in Progressiveera culture, his arguments are ultimately very much about ideology and literary representation, rather than a direct engagement with theoretical debates about
Studies in American Naturalism – University of Nebraska Press
Published: Feb 26, 2013
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