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Gorillas in the House of Light

Ashford, DM (2011) Gorillas in the House of Light Cambridge Quarterly, 40 (3). pp. 201-223.

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Abstract

The Gorilla House at London Zoo was the first in a series of remarkable modernist zoo buildings to be built in Britain by Berthold Lubetkin in the 1930s. In this article his Gorilla House is considered in relation to the pioneering work on the significance of the ‘Animal’ in western philosophy initiated by Derrida. Lubetkin's modernist structure is seen to constitute an anthropocentric reinstating of the human order over the animal, a rear-guard action against a culture-wide anxiety stemming from what Freud called humanity's second trauma, the threat to the foundations of humanist thought posed by Darwinian theory. This article contends that the anthropoid apes were a magnet for such fears from the moment of their discovery, and seeks to establish the precise nature of the menace that Lubetkin chose to place in this landmark of modernism, in this first ‘House of Light’.

Item Type: Article
Divisions : Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences > School of English and Languages > English
Authors :
AuthorsEmailORCID
Ashford, DMUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Date : September 2011
Identification Number : 10.1093/camqtly/bfr018
Related URLs :
Additional Information : This is a pre-copy editing, author-produced PDF of an article accepted for publication in "Cambridge Quarterly" following peer review. The definite publisher-authenticated version "Cambridge Quarterly 2011 40(3): 201-223" is available online at http://camqtly.oxfordjournals.org/content/40/3.toc The Cambridge Quarterly website.
Depositing User : Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited : 29 Apr 2013 17:04
Last Modified : 26 Nov 2014 14:14
URI: http://epubs.surrey.ac.uk/id/eprint/766639

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