In Western cultures, the rabbit holds a double status: it is, at once, live- stock and pet. Furthermore, manifold connotations (rabbit can also be hunting quarry, vermin, test animal, etc.) and a rich and long-lasting iconography (it is an iconic animal with a meaningful symbolic presence in many cultures) make this animal a powerful metonymy of the dynamics of the human-animal relation, grounded in incessant renegotiations. Looking speci cally at the Italian cultural context, this chapter aims at exploring the diverse processes of semiotization of the rabbit, and the different (sometimes incompatible) visions of nature lying behind, which may at times take the form of a (only apparently minor) “war of the worlds” (Latour) in which different ontologies come into con ict. Through a quick analysis of different texts, objects, practices and discourses, I shall underline how various “modes of existence” of this animal con rm the hypothesis of Descola, according to whom different “regimes” of nature (and hence “animality”) can coexist (sometimes successfully, sometimes not) in the same society.

The Birth of a Pet? The Rabbit

Francesco Mazzucchelli
2018

Abstract

In Western cultures, the rabbit holds a double status: it is, at once, live- stock and pet. Furthermore, manifold connotations (rabbit can also be hunting quarry, vermin, test animal, etc.) and a rich and long-lasting iconography (it is an iconic animal with a meaningful symbolic presence in many cultures) make this animal a powerful metonymy of the dynamics of the human-animal relation, grounded in incessant renegotiations. Looking speci cally at the Italian cultural context, this chapter aims at exploring the diverse processes of semiotization of the rabbit, and the different (sometimes incompatible) visions of nature lying behind, which may at times take the form of a (only apparently minor) “war of the worlds” (Latour) in which different ontologies come into con ict. Through a quick analysis of different texts, objects, practices and discourses, I shall underline how various “modes of existence” of this animal con rm the hypothesis of Descola, according to whom different “regimes” of nature (and hence “animality”) can coexist (sometimes successfully, sometimes not) in the same society.
Semiotics of Animals in Culture. Zoosemiotics 2.0
103
118
Francesco Mazzucchelli
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11585/630988
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