Cover of: The Lives of Animals | J. M. Coetzee
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March 3, 2021 | History
An edition of The Lives of Amimals (1999)

The Lives of Animals

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This edition was published in by Princeton Univ Pr

Written in English

127 pages

The idea of human cruelty to animals so consumes novelist Elizabeth Costello in her later years that she can no longer look another person in the eye: humans, especially meat-eating ones, seem to her to be conspirators in a crime of stupefying magnitude taking place on farms and in slaughterhouses, factories, and laboratories across the world.

Costello's son, a physics professor, admires her literary achievements, but dreads his mother's lecturing on animal rights at the college where he teaches. His colleagues resist her argument that human reason is overrated and that the inability to reason does not diminish the value of life; his wife denounces his mother's vegetarianism as a form of moral superiority.

At the dinner that follows her first lecture, the guests confront Costello with a range of sympathetic and skeptical reactions to issues of animal rights, touching on broad philosophical, anthropological, and religious perspectives. Painfully for her son, Elizabeth Costello seems offensive and flaky, but--dare he admit it?--strangely on target.

Here the internationally renowned writer J. M. Coetzee uses fiction to present a powerfully moving discussion of animal rights in all their complexity. He draws us into Elizabeth Costello's own sense of mortality, her compassion for animals, and her alienation from humans, even from her own family. In his fable, presented as a Tanner Lecture sponsored by the University Center for Human Values at Princeton University, Coetzee immerses us in a drama reflecting the real-life situation at hand: a writer delivering a lecture on an emotionally charged issue at a prestigious university. Literature, philosophy, performance, and deep human conviction--Coetzee brings all these elements into play.

As in the story of Elizabeth Costello, the Tanner Lecture is followed by responses treating the reader to a variety of perspectives, delivered by leading thinkers in different fields. Coetzee's text is accompanied by an introduction by political philosopher Amy Gutmann and responsive essays by religion scholar Wendy Doniger, primatologist Barbara Smuts, literary theorist Marjorie Garber, and moral philosopher Peter Singer, author of Animal Liberation. Together the lecture-fable and the essays explore the palpable social consequences of uncompromising moral conflict and confrontation.

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Previews available in: English

Edition Availability
Cover of: Lives of Animals
Lives of Animals
2016, Princeton University Press
in English
Cover of: Las Vidas De Los Animales
Las Vidas De Los Animales
April 2002, Grijalbo Mondadori Sa
Paperback
Cover of: The Lives of Animals (The University Center for Human Values Series)
The Lives of Animals (The University Center for Human Values Series)
July 1, 2001, Princeton University Press
Paperback in English - New Ed edition
Cover of: The lives of animals
The lives of animals
2001, Princeton University Press
electronic resource / in English
Cover of: The lives of animals
The lives of animals
2000, Profile
in English
Cover of: Das Leben der Tiere.
Das Leben der Tiere.
October 1, 2000, Fischer (S.), Frankfurt
Hardcover in German / Deutsch
Cover of: The Lives of Animals
The Lives of Animals
February 22, 1999, Princeton Univ Pr
Hardcover in English

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The Lives of Amimals

First published in 1999



Work Description

The idea of human cruelty to animals so consumes novelist Elizabeth Costello in her later years that she can no longer look another person in the eye: humans, especially meat-eating ones, seem to her to be conspirators in a crime of stupefying magnitude taking place on farms and in slaughterhouses, factories, and laboratories across the world.

Costello's son, a physics professor, admires her literary achievements, but dreads his mother's lecturing on animal rights at the college where he teaches. His colleagues resist her argument that human reason is overrated and that the inability to reason does not diminish the value of life; his wife denounces his mother's vegetarianism as a form of moral superiority.

At the dinner that follows her first lecture, the guests confront Costello with a range of sympathetic and skeptical reactions to issues of animal rights, touching on broad philosophical, anthropological, and religious perspectives. Painfully for her son, Elizabeth Costello seems offensive and flaky, but--dare he admit it?--strangely on target.

Here the internationally renowned writer J. M. Coetzee uses fiction to present a powerfully moving discussion of animal rights in all their complexity. He draws us into Elizabeth Costello's own sense of mortality, her compassion for animals, and her alienation from humans, even from her own family. In his fable, presented as a Tanner Lecture sponsored by the University Center for Human Values at Princeton University, Coetzee immerses us in a drama reflecting the real-life situation at hand: a writer delivering a lecture on an emotionally charged issue at a prestigious university. Literature, philosophy, performance, and deep human conviction--Coetzee brings all these elements into play.

As in the story of Elizabeth Costello, the Tanner Lecture is followed by responses treating the reader to a variety of perspectives, delivered by leading thinkers in different fields. Coetzee's text is accompanied by an introduction by political philosopher Amy Gutmann and responsive essays by religion scholar Wendy Doniger, primatologist Barbara Smuts, literary theorist Marjorie Garber, and moral philosopher Peter Singer, author of Animal Liberation. Together the lecture-fable and the essays explore the palpable social consequences of uncompromising moral conflict and confrontation.

The Lives of Animals

This edition was published in by Princeton Univ Pr


Classifications

Library of Congress
HV4708 .L57 1999

The Physical Object

Format
Hardcover
Number of pages
127
Dimensions
9.8 x 6.5 x 0.8 inches
Weight
13.6 ounces

ID Numbers

Open Library
OL7755957M
Internet Archive
livesofanimals00coet
ISBN 10
0691004439
ISBN 13
9780691004433
LC Control Number
98039591
Library Thing
3588
Goodreads
903030

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