In: KulturPoetik 2017, Heft 2


Florian Auerochs


»Es ist ein Netz von Reden über das Pferd geworfen«. Zoopoetik, Zooëse und Anthropo-Zoo-Genese in Hans Henny Jahnns Dramentext Armut, Reichtum, Mensch und Tier (1934)




In recent debates in Cultural and Literary Animal Studies, the terms ›zoopoiesis‹ and ›zooësis‹ are used to refer to certain modes of non-reductive, non-symbolic representation of animal life in literature and media. Those become significant in accordance with concepts such as Donna Haraway’s ›becoming-with‹ and Vinciane Despret’s ›anthropo-zoo-genesis‹, which highlight the material and semiotic interspecies entanglement humans and animals are subjected to. Within this framework, the article analyses Hans Henny Jahnn’s ›expressionist‹ play Armut, Reichtum, Mensch und Tier (1934), that orchestrates a suggestive form of ›be-coming‹ that takes place between a farmer and his mare, thereby transcending and decentering human–animal boundaries while referring to modes of social and sexual deviance and, in a way utopian, interspecies loving. Thus the play’s analysis may deliver a generic contribu-tion to debating poetics’ potential for shaping nonhuman agency as well as the text’s capabil-ity to inscribe kinesthetic intimacy.