Storie di vita, di guerra, d’amicizia: uomini e animali nel 1917 (e dintorni)


In 1917 the Caporetto battle was a massacre of soldiers and animals, and the images of the carcasses of horses and mules abandoned by the Italian fleeing army clearly represent the sacrifice of the millions of animals involved in the war by all armies. In the same year, in Madrid, the Nobel Prize for Literature Juan Ramón Jiménez published his book Platero y yo: the story of the friendship between the poet and the donkey Platero, in the background of the Andalusia landscapes. Starting from these distant and different events, the essay reconstructs the complex and contradictory relationships between human and non-human; animals are, still today, “goods” and tools to the full service of human needs, while the pets have been elevated to the rank of friends, confidants and man interlocutors. The origins of this divergent behavior towards the other species date back to the mid-Nineteenth century; the First World War did not constitute an historical breakdown for the animal condition, but brought to light the ambivalent and often even “schizophrenic” orientation that has been governing our relationship with animals for at least two centuries

DOI Code: 10.1285/i22808949a6n2p583

Keywords: Animals; First World War; Companion Animals; Human/Non-Human Relationship

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