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Hammond 1 Darin L.

Hammond Professor Worsham English 664 21 May 2012 A Post-Human, Heterogeneous Society of Animals: Social Evolutionary Sciences, Mirror Neurons, and Coetzees Disgrace IntroductionPost Humanism, Animal Studies, and Evolution David Lurie intrudes upon the readers life in J. M. Coetzees novel Disgrace, lingering, haunting us even after the book is finished. An unpleasant fellow, the protagonist brings with him the loaded connotations of his name, David from the Bible who sullies himself with sexual sin and depravity, and Lurie entailing the word lurid, terrible, ominous, ghastly (Lurid). The telling opening scene describes, through the eyes of Lurie, Soraya, a prostitute who he comes to believe he has feelings for. His feelings, however, extend no further than desire. He takes pleasure in her, but His sentiments are, he is aware, complacent, even uxorious. Nevertheless he does not cease to hold to them (2). His emotions base and primal feelings tend towards the lowest of human emotions, and while he has a self consciousness of this, he lacks the introspection that would bring change. That is his temperament, according to him, and His temperament is not going to change, he is too old for that (2). Lurie possesses a heightened consciousness of his age throughout the novel as he moves closer to death. While he blames his failure to change on his old age and habit of temperment, we get the sense that he has always been this way and does not will himself to change. He views his nature as a human being as unchanging, hardened, and His temperament is fixed, set. The skull, followed by the temperament: the two hardest parts of the body (2). His cold emotion and cognition are solidified and stagnant, probably due to something in his past experience, but the reader discovers nothing of this. He refers to Soraya as a loose woman in the same breath that he says he trusts her, within limits (3), and whatever these limits might be, they seem to separate Lurie from all human beings, not just Soraya. He admits to himself that he is a womanizer who

Hammond 2 slept with whores (7) and is clearly more concerned with his loss of sexual appeal than his lack of real connection with any other human being. He points to the overlarge and rather empty human soul (4), seeming to include himself, but not in a religious sense as he is not a god-fearing man. He refers to the emotion and cognition he mentions previously, and I believe he sees the emptiness in himself more than in any other. He has never been much of a teacher, and the students fail to connect with him as They look through him when he speaks, forget his name (4). Not only does he not make an impression on others, including his students, but they make no impression upon him. He is thoroughly jaded. Thus, he enters the life of the reader as a sore, sand in the eye, and refuses to leave. What does David Lurie lack or suppress emotionally and cognitively that enables detachment from everyone in the novel? If, as the scientific research I explore suggests, the human brain is hardwired to imitate and feel the actions and emotions of others, how is this reflected in the novel? By using science to understand how human beings normally connect with others, we can shed light on these questions. While using current science is not necessarily the norm in interpreting literature, current researchers are discovering answers to the deepest emotions that connect us with other human beings, and the insights are essential in understanding characters like David Lurie. I begin with this account of Soraya, a human other pushed to the margins of society as a woman and prostitute, to establish the attitudes that Lurie has toward life and people, but I am most interested in the effect of animals on Lurie as they penetrate his hard skull more intensely than non-human animals are able. I will explore the physiology of these relationships and how they function biologically within the human organism and David Lurie. Science and art have historically been positioned as binaries, but Jacques Derrida teaches that binary oppositions break down when examined closely. Animal studies undermines this opposition by decentering the human being and inviting science into the discourse. The human-animal relationship is historically embedded in an anthropocentric worldview, with humans hierarchically at the top. Animal studies undermines the binary of human/animal and problematizes who we are and who we should be. Scholars in many disciplines are tracing the origins and implications of our relationships with animals,

Hammond 3 including philosophy and anthropology, in an effort to undermine and reconfigure the way we think of and treat the other, human and non-human (Derrida 369-418; Wood 129-44; Wolfe 564; Fudge; Cavell et al.; Diamond 43-89; Calarco). These scholars position themselves against the anthropocentric humanist ideas generally attributed to Descartes well known I think, therefore I am postulate, the rock of indubitable certainty (Derrida 396) that defines consciousness as uniquely human and animals as the ultimate other. The Cartesian view characterizes animals as mere unfeeling, unthinking machines. In J. M. Coetzees The Lives of Animals, Elizabeth Costello, contextualizes (defends) Descartes in her response to a questioner after her lecture: I would only want to say that the discontinuity he saw between animals and human beings was the result of incomplete information (61). Enlightenment thinkers such as Descartes, without the benefit of current scientific knowledge, have embedded, deep in our psyche, a limited worldview that continues to inflict much pain and suffering. Jacques Derrida declares us in a battle for pity and compassion against oppression and abuses (Derrida 397) against others, particularly nonhuman, and my paper engages one front in this battle, entering into the scientific fray. Derrida is pointed in his dismanteling of the Cartesian system of thought that suppresses the animal other, but with our new scientific knowledge, the time is now right and animal studies calls for a new relationship between the humanities and the sciences. Recent scholarship in animal studies and the humanities push beyond disciplinary isolationism. Lynn Worshams Thinking with Cats (More, to Follow) in JAC merges many disciplines such as literature, psychology, anthropology, cognitive ethology, and neurosociology in a stunning synthesis. In her conclusion, she discusses our human ability, perhaps through mirror neurons, to empathize with the other. She invokes compassion and pity in the face of trauma, violence, and indifference. Rather than using the metaphor of war as Derrida and Wood, Worsham suggests that her preference would be something closer to the healing arts, those arts that develop our capacity for sympathetic imagination and empathy for others, those arts that also have the potential to create and foster solidarity among the living (424). My intent here is to dig deeper into the nature of sympathy and imagination in line with Worshams discussion

Hammond 4 of the mirror neural network, and I explore the relationship of mirror neurons, empathy and their evolution in animals. Of the many disciplines I use here, mirror neurons make up an area of research that now thrives as top scholars try to fully comprehend their function in animals, human and nonhuman. Mirror neuronsa complex collection of cells that link us with all speciesare an ongoing legacy in the chain of life and natural selection that lend the humanities an interpretative mechanism, informing the study of animals and ourselves. The mirroring network pushes outward on the expanding circle (Singer) of inclusion in our society. By nature that circle is large and interconnect as the Hillis Plot in Appendix I illustrates, showing how really insignificant we are in the realm of multiplicitous species on earth. All of the tiny lines on the periphery of the circle are the names of species, including humans (You are here). The Hillis plot includes only a small portion of the organisms on earth (3,000), but it gives us a vision of Singers ever expanding circle. Scholars dealing with mirror neurons and social behavior such as Marco Iacoboni (Mirroring 47-50) and Susan Blackmore (24-36) suggest that our ability to imitate, facilitated by mirror neurons, provide a foundation of our social faculties, and this research, therefore, sheds light on societies of species, especially human. Iacoboni and Blackmore1 suggest imitation as the origin of our ability to organize into societies, and while these scholars generally do not yet make the connection with mirror neurons, scholars in neuro-sociological and neuro-psychological research prove that mirror neurons make imitation possible. Connecting these compatable lines of research reveals much about imitation in addition to compassion, pity, and kindness. The end goal is to see society as one whole, including all life on earth and the earth herself, without reducing or minimizing any individualhuman or nonhuman (Wood 143). In animal studies and literature, these connections are utile, principally, if they can be employed as tools to find insight in works, and I see them working powerfully. The research above will inform my

Evolutionary biologists, philosophers, and psychologists also stress the importance of imitation in learning and evolution, but as I will point out below, most have yet to pick up on the new science of mirror neurons. Scholars who fit into this category include E. O. Wilson, Richard Dawkins, Stephen Pinker, and Daniel Dennett.

Hammond 5 reading of Coetzees novel Disgrace. In particular, mirror neurons speak to the communication that takes place between others, in the novel. Marc Bekoff has suggested that dogs and even mice have shown signs of empathy in the laboratory (775-777), so mirror neurons can elucidate relationships and communication in Coetzees novel. This approach fits nicely in the autobiographical experience Derrida shares when he asks whether his cat might also be, deep within her eyes, my primary mirror? (418). Scientific research suggests that this might literally be true, that we know ourselves through the mirrors of others, and my investigation will explore how David Lurie sees and is seen by others, human and nonhuman animals. Interdisciplinary Interpretive Lenses This paper heeds the call of scholars that have hinted at embracing new, evolutionary science in order to better understand our relationship to animals. Even Derrida implies the importance of biology as a multiplicity of heterogeneous structures and limits. Among nonhumans and separate from nonhumans there is an immense multiplicity of other living things (416). I deemphasize his use of the term separate as I see more connections than demarcations. Derrida invokes biology vaguely, immersing us as humans into the world of animal life, as fellow animals. More specifically, Wolfe sees an important role for biology and science as returning us precisely to the thickness and finitude of a human embodiment and to human evolution as itself a specific form of animality (572). We share this finitude with all species, and as David Wood notes, this integrating animal studies more thoroughly in the sciences might dispel the ignorance that knows many things but does not connect them (141). The way to true and lasting changes, according to Wood, integrates an objective compassion which tries, as far as possible not to be limited by our actual capacity for fellow-feeling, and recognizes life itself, in each of its forms, as addressing us (140-141). An understanding of the science behind empathy, pity, and compassion, the mirror neural network, will bring us closer to tapping into our best emotional selves. This type of interconnected relationship also requires a collaboration of the disciplines in academia. The veteran biologist E. O. Wilson claims that To the extent that the gaps between the great branches of learning can be narrowed, diversity and depth of knowledge will increase. They will do so because of, not

Hammond 6 despite, the underlying cohesion achieved (14). Similarly, Joseph Carroll, in Literary Darwinism, agrees that we in the humanities should do the kind of work that seems to be happening in animal studies. The imaginative models, Carroll states, that we construct about our experience in the world do not merely convey practical information. They direct our behavior by entering into our motivational system at its very rootsour feelings, our ideas, and our values. We use imaginative models to make sense of the world, not just to understand it abstractly but to feel and perceive our own place in itto see it from the inside out (xxii). I would add to Carrolls comment that we should try to see from the outside in as well, beyond our subjectivity, and I his incorporation of bodily senses in the project is powerful. With this investigation comes the risk of slipping into the reductive continuism that Derrida and Wood criticize, or as Cora Diamond puts it, the risk of deflecting (Diamond 57) the serious embodied issues in animal studies, moving from a difficulty of reality to a philosophical or moral problem apparently in the vicinity (Diamond 57). As Derrida and others gently push science to the side, so Carroll and Wilson, at times in their work, discount Derrida and continental philosophy. Cognitive Ethology, Theory of Mind, and Mirror Neurons The biologist Marc Bekoff, currently emeritus professor at the University of ColoradoBoulder and prolific author, recognizes the massive scope of the work in animal studies and embraces the call for interdisciplinary scholarship, noting that we need a wide-ranging holistic interdisciplinary discussion that transcends more narrow concerns, figuring out how common sense and science sense are reconciled, and, most important, asking what the roles are of compassion, kindness, generosity, respect, grace, humility, and love in what we call science (Minding 912). Bekoff stresses the importance of science while also elevating the moral and ethical implications, reaching out to other disciplines. Rather than isolating himself within biology, he reaches out to other fields to share knowledge. By extension, linking animal studies with literature in an attempt to bring it closer to current biology, evolutionary studies, psychology, and literature, we might move closer to Woods vision which incorporate all species on earth, into our past, present, and future(re)conceiving a society of diverse species sharing the same home and deserving the

Hammond 7 same pity("Thinking" 143-144). Bekoff aligns himself on the side of Woods futuristic vision of a moral evolution beyond species tribalism (143). Evolution as the Core of Animal Studies, the Hillis Plot Bekoff refers to his discipline as cognitive ethology, and he is one of the foremost scholars in the field. Ethology shares the same root as the word ethics: ethos. Darwin was perhaps the first ethologist which means that he attempted to understand the inner lives of animals, in their natural habitat (Wild 25). Cognitive ethology is an interdisciplinary study of the minds and emotions of animals. Scholars from disciplines as diverse as biology, evolutionary psychology, and neuropsychology collectively explore how animals think and what they feel, and this includes their emotions, beliefs, reasoning, information processing, consciousness, and self-awareness(Emotional 30). Bekoff outlines a variety of interests that fall within the purview of cognitive ethologists: they hope to trace mental continuity among different species; they want to discover how and why intellectual skills and emotions evolve; and they want to unlock the worlds of the animals themselves (30). In this sense, animal studies and cognitive ethology both have the end goal of understanding and empathizing with animals. In other words, animal studies is the heart of this science, and among other pursuits, cognitive ethologists research the theory of mind in many species. The theory of mind refers to an animals ability to conceive of herself and others. In human animals, this worldview is acquired by the age 3, but there is much contention about how, when, and if animals develop the same abilities. Understanding the theory of mind is essential to understanding social behavior in all animals because without out it sociality would be impossible (Coleman). Cognitive research, therefore, makes one of the keys to unlocking the social and emotional nature of animalshuman and nonhuman. Bekoff taps into social neuroscience to inform his studies in cognitive ethology and he sees the disciplines as symbiotic. Social neuroscience researches how the brain and nervous system function in animals to create social behavior (Wild 27). Cutting edge research in a recently discovered area of the brain called mirror neurons sheds light on both human and animal theory of mind, and scholars are creating incredibly innovative experiments and studies that shed light on the theory of mind as it pertains to cognitive ethology in animal studies.

Hammond 8 On the cutting edge of social neuroscience is the relatively recent discover of unique neurons in the brain. Since the discovery of mirror neurons in the 1980s by an international team centered in Parma (Oberman and Ramachandran 40), Italy, the concept of mirroring has become one of the hottest topics in an array of sciences from evolutionary psychology to neurophysiology. Parma is in fact the center of scholarship on mirroring, and the team of Rizzolatti, Gallese, Fogassi, and Fadiga2 are credited with the initial detection of a completely new kind of neuron, though many others (such as Sinigagaglia, Di Pellegrino, and Iacoboni) have participated in further research with the Parma team and worked to clarify their nature and function (Iacoboni, Mirroring 1-46; Bayne, Cleeremans and Wilken). Their ground breaking work was first published as Understanding Motor Events: A Neurophysiological Study, and it forever changed the landscape of cognitive sciences (Di Pellegrino, et al.). Four years after this initial publication, the cells received their current name, mirror neurons (Gallese, Fadiga, Fogassi, and Rizzolati). Researching the nervous system and hand movements in macaque monkeys, the Parma team discovered that the network of mirror neurons in the brain perform unique, essential functions: action understanding, imitation, language, empathy and theory of mind, and self representation (Oberman and Ramachandran 42-50). Beginning in the area in the ventral premotor cortex named F5, Rizzolatis team discovered, as anticipated, that certain neurons fired when the monkeys grasped object with their hands (Wild 28). Unexpectedly, Rizzolati also found, outside the scope of the original research questions, that these same neurons fired when the macaques merely watched another person or monkey using hands to grasp an object (Iacoboni, Mirroring 10-11; Bayne, Cleeremans and Wilken). So, the same action synaptic pathways in the monkeys brain lit up when the monkey observed behavior. This revolutionary finding integrated perception and action within the brainthe neurons fire the same whether the monkey is performing the action or watching (Iacoboni, Mirroring 11). This synthesis between action and perception which had long been conceived as existing in separate locations in the brain has widespread implications. Much of the research data derives from

While Di Pellegrino joined the team in the research, Iacoboni refers to these key researchers as The Fab Four (Iacoboni, Mirroring 21), and they are generally credited as the principal researchers.

Hammond 9 noninvasive new technologies that I will refer to at times in the current discussion including: functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), electroencephalography (EEG), magnetoencephalography (MEG), transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) positron emission tomography (PET), and single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) which is able to make 3D configurations down to the level of single neurons. Also, a significant amount of data has been acquired through epileptic patients that generously allow researchers piggyback the electrodes inserted into their brain for medical purposes (Iacoboni, Mirroring, 121). In this way, specific data from isolated regions of the brain, targeting specific mirror neurons, is compiled. It was only in 2007 that the head researcher, Rizzolatti, confirmed with empiric evidence that humans possess a mirror neural network although it is more complex and widespread throughout the brain (Rizzolatti and Sinigaglia, Mirror 4). He contextualizes the importance of this confirmation, stating Mirror neurons allow us to grasp the minds of others not through the conceptual reasoning but through direct simulation. By feeling, not by thinking (qtd. in Bekoff, Wild 29). Key to his description are the facts that humans and monkeys (along with other species3) possess the capacity to feel the mind and emotion of another person which brings us toward empathy and empathic behaviorfeeling the experience of another through the imaginative ability of mirror neurons. The significance of mirror neurons in understanding human emotions and cognition, according to Oberman and Ramachandran, is analogous to DNA informing our understanding of genetics (39-40). This also has the effect of bringing connections with others to an embodied condition with the potential to avoid the rational deflection, described by Cora Diamond (57), away from the problem of the minds of others. She describes a difficulty of reality as an experience of the individuals cognitive inability to encompass something which it encounters (44). In such moments, we take something in reality to be resistant to our thinking it, or possibly to be painful in its inexplicability, difficult in that way, or perhaps awesome and astonishing in its inexplicability (46). The result of the deflection , in terms of

Bekoff makes the point that mirror neurons have been located in cetaceans and birds in addition to apes, and he alludes to the fact that Mirror neurons might also explain observations of empathic mice who react more strongly to painful stimuli after observing other mice in pain, of rats who go hungry rather than watch another rat receive a shock, and of rhesus monkeys who wont accept food if another monkey suffers when they do so (Bekoff, Wild 29). Work extending research to other species, however, is only in initial stages.

Hammond 10 David Lurie, is that he is moved from the appreciation of the minds and feelings of others to a philosophical or moral problem apparently in the vicinity (57). In his case, he moves from his emotionally painful reality of his harm to others to a safe mental location that separates him from feeling. Lurie experiences a difficulty of reality when he engages with other individuals, particularly women. Diamond provides an explanation for Luries behavior given the fact that he must have mirror neurons engaging which connect him with other people, barring a disability such as autism which is obviously not present. Meshing neuroscience with Diamond, Lurie is deflecting the empathic response which he feels in the brain and body to the purely rational portion of his mind which suppresses those bodily feelings. Diamond would say that Lurie is in a situation within which the humanness of the other seems out of reach (68), and he seems impossibly isolated in his difficulty of reality and in deflection from bodily emotion.. Mirror Neurons and Empathy While the implications of findings of neuroscientists involve multiple intelligences in both human and nonhuman animals and diverse disciplines, my focus will be on human empathy in order to shed light on David Luries. In the fields that study mirror neurons, they tend to use the psychological definition of empathy similar to the one found in the OED: The power of projecting one's personality into (and so fully comprehending) the object of contemplation (Empathy). While there are many competing empathy, most simply it is comprehending and connecting with the mental and emotional state of another individual, and this research shows that mirror neurons make this possible (Gallese and Goldman 48-49). Research suggests that our ability to empathize with others derives from mirror neurons. In one of the first logical extensions, researchers connected mirror neurons to the understanding of action, in the individual and in others. The instantaneous understanding of the emotions of others, rendered possible by the emotional mirror neuron system, according to Rizzolatti and Singaglia, is a necessary condition for the empathy which lies at the root of most of our more complex inter-individual relationships ( 191) While previously scientists believed that actions would first have to be processed by the brain before cognitive understanding could occur, mirror neurons proved that when we see an action it is automatically

Hammond 11 duplicated in the mirroring areas of our brain. We comprehend the event immediately because our mind mirrors it as if we ourselves were acting. In this way we are able to imitate actions, see into the minds of others, imitate, and read intentions. This, according to many scholars, makes language and culture possible as mirror neurons fire not only based upon sight, but upon all of the senses. Additionally, in humans, mirror neurons mimic emotions, our ability to share how others feel inside by reading the persons body movement, facial expressions, tone of voice, etc. (Oberman and Ramachandran 42-50; Bekoff, Wild 2830; Iacoboni, Mirroring 30-46; Rizzolatti and Sinigaglia, Mirrors 79-114). At times in Coetzees novel, Lurie perceives others in flash of recognition reminiscent of the instantaneity of mirror neurons at work. The ability to instantaneously read and mentally mimic the emotions of others segued, evolutionarily speaking, into empathic behavior, and most scholars state that mirror neurons are allowing us to get at the core of our ability to connect with the mental states of others. It should be pointed out that just because emotional and mental states are mirrored in the individual, this does not entail that mirror neurons will necessarily lead him or her to feel or act with empathy, compassion or pity: quite the contrary, they [mirror neurons] represent a potential visceromotor activity that may be either executed or remain at the potential state ... For example, if we see that someone is in pain, we are not automatically induced to feel compassion for him (190-91). This depends on much more complex characteristics of the individual and the situation such as if the person is enemy or friend, hated or loved, stranger or acquaintance (191). In the case of Lurie, his mind is in a perpetual state of deflection, separating from the empathy he might otherwise feel. I contend here that it is through Diamonds idea of deflection that Lurie is able to stifle empathic feelings, voming them from the emotional body to the rational mind. If mirror neurons are to be connected with empathy and a wide range of emotions in human beings, then mirror neurons must exist in areas outside of the motor system in the brain. While the research began in the F5 region, Oberman and Ramachandran illustrate how mirroring is not confined to this area nor to mere motor actions. In the medial prefrontal cortex, an area of the brain known to be

Hammond 12 connected with decision making, emotion, attitude, and personality traits (48). Insula? Many creative experiments have been conducted that require subjects to imagine and conceive the emotions of others, and the same neurons the create the mental states in the subjects fire. So, the neurons that produce the emotion in the subject are active when the subject reads the emotional states of others (Gallese and Goldman). Similarly, researchers have shown facial expressions that indicate emotional behavior such as anger or happiness, and the neurons responsible for creating the emotion in the individual engage. The same area of the brain that is involved in representing the mental state of ourselves is also involved in inferring the mental states of others (49). Oberman and Ramachandran claim that the ability to read the emotional states of others may have arisen prior to an understanding of ourselves in evolution. Our ability to create a theory of mind, to recognize our own mind as unique and separate from those of others, allowed us to become self-reflexive. They suggest that our theory of mind may have evolved first in response to social needs and then later, as an unexpected bonus, came the ability to introspect on ones own thoughts and intentions (50). Whichever came first, it is clear from research that mirror neurons are responsible for our ability to understand and empathize with the emotions of othershuman and nonhuman animals. Along with the cognitive mirroring in the brain, facial muscles that mimic the emotional facial expressions are activated even though the muscles do not engage (Goldman, Simulating 125-27; Iacoboni, Mirroring 57-8). Far from being isolated in area F5 in the brain and in motor actions, there is a mirror neuron network throughout the brain that is able to simultaneously interpret and duplicate the mental states of others which is the core of empathy. Iacoboni points to the solid empirical evidence [that] suggests that our brains are capable of mirroring the deepest aspects of the minds of othersintention is definitely one such aspectat the fine-grained level of a single brain cell (Mirroring 7). For some reason, David Lurie suppresses the ability to read the intentions of others which probably accounts for his lack of introspection in his own life and behavior. When he inappropriately stalks Soraya and calls her at home, he is completely dumbfounded by her somewhat obvious reaction:

Hammond 13 You are harassing me in my own house. I demand you will never phone me here again, never (10). He responds, thinking Demand. She means command. Her shrillness surprises him: there has been no intimation of it before. But then, what should a predator expect when he intrudes into the vixens nest, into the home of her cubs? (10). While the animal imagery is interesting, the importance here is that he completely fails to anticipate her emotional response and only later thinks that Sorayas reaction might be natural. He describes himself accurately as the predator, and prepares in the following chapter to acquire his next victim. In his affair with Melanie, his young student, Lurie is also unable to read emotions and intentions. Hints are given throughout the novel that the affair was actually a series of rapes of young lady who was already involved with another young man. When they first converse in the darkeness of the campus quad, he admits that he objectivfies women, saying that a womans beuty does not belong to her alone She does not own herself (16). While he refers to, perhaps, a Wordsworthian ideal of beauty, his words reveal that women are mrely beautiful objects, not individuals unto themselves. He suggests that she belongs to him and others because she has pretty features. Again he demonstrates his inability to empathize with or see into the mind of another, especially a woman. Melanie escapes his first advance after he invites her to spend the night and She slips his embrace (17). There is a hint of violence in his embrace that she must slip as he notices her breasts touch against him. He recognizes the error in his advances as she is a student and does not reciprocate his affection: That is where he ought to end it (18). He does not, however, and on their next encounter he promises Melanie I wont let it go too far (19) when he has every intention of violating her. From his point of view, he makes love to her (19), but she is passive (19) and she says right after that she must go (19). Melanie rejects him when he shows up at her apartment, and A child! he thinks. No more than a child! What am I doing? Yet his heart lurches with desire (20). His desire and lust trump all else, and he is incapable of understanding how Melanie might feel. Lurie remembers having forced (23) Melanies top off, and in their next encounter he recalls that He has given her no warning; she is too surprised to resist the intruder who thrusts himself upon her.

Hammond 14 When he takes her in his arms, her limbs crumple like a marionettes. Words heavy as clubs thud into the delicate whorl of her ear. No, not now! she says, struggling (25). Lurie, however, has no desire to stop, no ability to perceive her emotions, and he rapes her after she has said no. He rationalizes cognitively that it was not rape, not quite that, but undesired nevertheless, undesired to the core (25). He defines it as rape though he refuses the term, the condemnation. At the level of the body, he knows he has raped a young girl, but he deflects the emotional response. He sees the mistake, a huge mistake. At this moment, he has no doubt, she, Melanie, is trying to cleanse herself of it, of him. He sees her running a bath, stepping into the water, eyes closed like a sleepwalkers. He would like to slide into a bath of his own (25). Lurie imagines her bathing to clean herself because he knows this to be the normal response to a rape. At a bizarre moment when Melanie shows up at his own house, upset, Lurie says to her Tell Daddy what is wrong (27). He manipulates her emotions and alludes to the fact that he is the age of her father, manifesting a consciousness of the age difference and the twisted relationship. The last time he violates her is on the bed in his daughters room (29). He does not say what is impled herethat he rapes a girl younger than his daughter in her own bed. Even in his language he deflects the bodily emotion that would tell him how wrong his actions are, detatching the bed in the room from his daughter and the young woman he violates. The moment becomes painfully ironic when his own daughter, Lucy, is violated. My contention is that Lurie deflects the emotional behavior of Melanie on the level of the mirror network that mimicks her emotion to the rational realm where he is able to manipulate her feelings into something more acceptable to his strange world view. By deflecting her emotions that are mimicked in him, he estranges her as an other, separate and isolated from himself and unworthy of the empathy that the mirror neurons might help to create. He deflects this while with her and later at the hearing when he refuses to accept guilt for what he has done, in any form. Lurie is very much entrenched in the Cartesian mode of thinking about life, and he has found away to deflect true emotion. Iacoboni dismantles the Cartesian binary worldview as Derrida, Wood, Diamond, Wolfe and others from the philosophical approaches to animal studies. The premise for Cartesian

Hammond 15 philosophy, the now trite phrase Cogito, ergo sum, or I think, therefore I am, founds western thought in the individual mind, isolated, rational, and alone, but Iacoboni suggests that intersubjectivity, or the connecting and sharing of minds through mirroring, fundamentally undermines Descartes binaries. The difficulty in knowing and sharing the minds of others is not as big a problem as Descartes would have us believe because mirror neurons allow us to immediately connect with another (Problem 122). This does not suggest that we can ever completely know the mind and emotion of another person, a connection that Derrida would fundamentally disagree with, but it does mean that we can never completely sever ourselves from others and that we know ourselves through other people. Many empirical studies that reinforce these logical extensions, but here I will only describe the most significant one briefly, an experiment led by Luciano Fogassi in the Parma lab. Critics had discounted the ability of mirror neurons to read the intentions of others because the pathways might likely light up regardless of the context of an action. In other words, when I grab an apple, there are a variety of actions I might take with it from eating it, to cutting into slices, to putting it in the refrigerator. The critics, then said, that mirror neurons may fire regardless of the context of what I do with the apple, and therefore the neural networks are not reading intentions at all but merely firing from the grasping action. Fogassi, following the philosophical defense of Gallese and Goldman, created an experiment that proved conclusively that neural mirroring codes for the intentions of the actor (Fogasssi, et al. 662-667). The experiment detected firing of mirror neurons while the macaque monkeys observed and acted in various grasping activities. In the most important series, the monkeys observed an individual grabbing a piece of food and bringing it to the mouth to eat. In another experimental set up, the person instead put the food in a container. The results decisively illustrated that for each experimental setup: 75% of the mirror neurons fired strongest did not fire vigorously under the other conditions. So, different mirror neurons fired for the eating action than fired for the placing. Eating actions triggered unique neurons that failed to fire in the placing actions. Different events excite different neurons (Fogassi, et al. 662-667; Iacoboni, Problem 126; Iacoboni, Mirroring 30-33). Moreover, Fogassis team demonstrated again that

Hammond 16 observing eating triggered the very same neurons that fired when the monkeys themselves performed the action. Observing the placing excited the same cells as when the monkeys themselves placed the food in the container (Iacoboni, Problem 125-126). This empirical data proves that intersubjectivity and empathy are intimately connected with the mirror neural network, and as humans, our brains mimic the actions and emotions of others, both human and non-human. Though familiar with the term intersubjectivity, Alvin Goldman, who worked together with Gallese, the philosopher on the Parma team, calls this ability mindreading or mentalizing, not in the metaphysical sense, but in the physical, bio-physiological sense (Simulating 3-4). Goldman states that mindreading consists of attributing (ascribing, imputing) a mental state to someone another person. The state must be mental rather than merely behaviorial (Mirroring 235). Empathy, according to Goldman, is an augmented form of empathy (Simulating 4).He makes an important distinction here in between behavioral and mental, reminding us that mirroring deals with the mind and instantaneous cognitive processes, separating this significant mental function from the realm of mere behavior. He refers to the higher levels of mirroring (Mirroring 235-50) that I would like to use in my discussion of Disgrace, and the term mindreading is powerful in that it is both literal and figurative, but I will use the terms intersubjectivity and empathy in what follows. David Lurie, Mirror Neurons, and Empathy for Animals David Luries first approach toward intersubjectivity is through a nonhuman animal, Katy, the feisty dog at Lucys house. The connection does not come immediately as Lurie resists this other, unfamiliar world (71). He is conscious of his resistance and correctly assesses it as Nothing to be proud of: a prejudice that has settled in his mind, settled down. His mind has become a refuge for old thoughts, idle, indigent, with nowhere else to go. He ought to chase them out, sweep the premises clean. But he does not care to do so, or does not care enough (72). Although aware of the old thoughts that block or deflect his authentic bodily, emotional responses, he has reached the point where he does not care to change. In

Hammond 17 this state, the animal other intrudes upon him and changes him, allowing him to feeleven though his character remains essentially unchanged throughout the novel. When he enters the cage with Katy, Lurie is finally overcome by the mirror neurons that react to the emotion of the dog. Though he confesses, I am dubious, Lucy, (72) that he can have a meaningful experience with the dogs and that he even has a goodness of heart (77), the experience with Katy is on the level of the body, and he is overcome. He enters her cage (70) and crosses an unforeseen threshold from the rational mind to bodily experience, incorporating all of the senses, engaging the mirror neurons powerfully. He sees her, and He squats down, tickles her behind the ears (78). He speaks to her Abandoned are we? he murmers (78), engaging his voice and the auditory senses. His bodily reaction with the mirror neurons firing to sights sounds and touch is significant as His limbs relax (78), and he actually falls fast asleep. Though he does not consciously recognize it, the bodily emotional imitation as he interacts with the dog relaxes him, the dogs passivity and lack of care transferring to Lurie in the first example of empathic behavior. After his initial experience with Katy, David opens up to Lucy, illustrating that the experience with a dog allows him to connect with his emotions more than previously. His thinking about animals is still muddled with Cartesian philosophy which he reveals in talking with Lucy, they dont have proper souls (78). But, clearly he has come more in touch with his emotional, bodily experience when she says she doesnt think she has a proper soul either, and David responds thats not true. You are a soul. We are all souls. We are souls before we are born (79). His passionate response is a clear change from the empty sould of humanity that he refers to in the beginning of the novel. He connects with true emotions for the first time and the result is painful for him, A shadow of grief falls over him: for Katy, alone in her cage, for himself, for everyone. He sighs deeply, not stifling the sigh. Forgive me, Lucy, he says (79). David does not stifle the emotion, but connects with her, with Katy, and with himself in a lucid bodily epiphany made possible by the mirror neurons that allow him to enter the mind and emotion of the others and himself.

Hammond 18 Davids first experience in the clinic with Bev presents lessons about life that he is not ready to comprehend. He recognizes in the first dog that is brought in by a young boy the emotion of the animal through visual cues, for a moment its eyes, full of rage and fear, glare into his (81). He allows the mirror neurons within him to feel what the dog feels at the moment, something David has been entirely incapable of doing in others, neither human nor nonhuman. Bev instructs him to think comforting thoughts, think strong thoughts. They can smell what you are thinking (81), and given what we know about mirror neurons, she is likely correct. He is unable to accept this and dismisses it as nonsense although he learns this lesson later in the novel. Bev tells him that he has a good presence (81) which surprises both him and the reader, but Bev here is reading the thoughts and intentions of David, and is able to get into his mind in the way Iacoboni and others describe. Through his behavior in the clinic, she reads that he has a connection with the animals, and he will discover this. Remember to look at interpretations from critics. In the same scene, Bev tries to convince a goat owner that nothing more can be done for her goat, and they should put him down for the sake of the animal. Again, David reads the emotions of the animal, noticing that he seems bright enough, cheery, combative (82). He anthropomorphisizes the animal, but in a positive way that allows him to connect with the bodily experience of the goat, frightened and in pain. Bev connects more closely to the animal, and The goat stands stock still as if hypnotized. Bev Shaw continues to stroke him with her head. She seems to have lapsed into a trance of her own (83). Bev allows an intimate connection to take place between her and the goat, and they read the emotions of each other, Bev calming the goat with her hypnotizing trance that spreads to the animal through mirror networks. When she talks with David about putting the goat down, Bev says Its nothing (83) because the animals feel no pain and are able to pass peacefully, without full understanding of what is happening. Surprisingly, David responds empathetically saying Perhaps he understands more than you guess (83). He is attempting to console Bev somehow for the difficult job she performs, and he thinks To his own surprise, he is trying to comfort her (83). As with Lucy before, moments of intimacy with animals opens

Hammond 19 David to other people, and he allows himself to feel for them and connect, this immediately following the treating of the dog and goat. Animals have become a form of healing and maturing emotionally because he allows himself to empathize with them. The next animals he sees in the clinic provoke more conversation with Bev, and he seems to admire that They are very egalitarian, arent they, he remarks. No classes. No one too high and mighty to smell anothers backside. He squats, allows the dog to smell his face, his breath. It has what he thinks of as an intelligent look, though it is probably nothing of the kind. Are they all going to die? (85). Again he anthropomorphizes in a way that allows connection between himself and the animal, and he reads into the dog an intelligent face, but he does his emotional interpretation. He thinks that the animals will soon die, a fact that he is only beginning to realize. The animals passing on at the hands had been happening for years, but this never mattered to David because he had not been in contact with him. Reading their thoughts and emotions through the networks of his mind changes the way he thinks of the animals and other people. As before, he is motivated to open up more to Bev, and he discusses perhaps the hardest thing for him at the time, his disgrace. Once home, he empathizes intimately with Lucy, thinking Poor Lucy! Poor daughters! What a destiny, what a burden to bear! (87). This empathy occurs even before the attack. After the attack, when perhaps David feels the most intensely of the whole book, Bev helps to nurse him to health, and He recalls the goat in the clinic, wonders whether, submitting to her hands, it felt the same peacefulness (106), and he now moves from his own feelings, extending them outward to the goat who is no longer present. The animal experiences are lingering with him, and his sense of empathy towards nonhuman (and human?) becomes more developed. As he feels pain more intensely than he ever has in his life (that we know of), his suffering opens him to greater levels of empathy with the animals he will encounter. Feeling his own sorrow allows him to empathize with animal suffering and vice versa:

Hammond 20 A grey mood is settling on him. It is not just that he doesn not know what to do with himself. The events of yesterday have shocked him to the depths. The trembling, the weakness are only the first and most superficial signs of that shock. He has a sense that, inside him, a vital organ has been bruised, abusedperhaps even his heart. For the first time he has a taste of what it will be like to be an old man, tired to the bone, without hopes, without desires, indifferent to the future. Slumped on a plastic chair amid the stench of chicken feathers and rotting apples, he feels his interest in the world draining from him drop by drop. It may take weeks, it may take months before he is bled dry, but he is bleeding. When that is finished, he will be like a fly-casing in a spiderweb, brittle to the touch, lighter than rice-chaff, ready to float away. (107) David introspects here, reflecting on his own suffering, connecting with it. Though his mood is dark, he is aware of the darkness of his emotions which is a form of self knowledge he has not had in the past. Implied here is the connection to the animals in the clinic who are in the same position, waiting to float away in the hands of the ever-caring Bev. As they perhaps feel a type of despair as their lives come to a close, The blood of life is leaving his body and despair is taking its place, despair that is like a gas, odourless, tasteless, without nourishment. You breathe it in, your limbs relax, you cease to care, even at the moment when the steel touches your throat (108). The animals are present here, and his mind wanders to The corpses of the dogs [that] lie in the cage where they fell (108), and their death only deepens his despair, but it solidifies his connection with animals. Davids next meaningful encounter is with the animals Petrus is going to slaughter for his party. The two youthful sheep are tied close to a stake in an area where they are unable to graze, and David feels for them. Those sheep, he says dont you think we could tie them where they can graze? (123). He contemplates the sheep and through the network of neurons in his brain, he feels their plight as his own. He feels so strongly for them that he defies Petrus will to keep them where they are, and: Exasperated, he unties them and tugs them over to the damside, where there is abundant grass.

Hammond 21 The sheep drink at length, then leisurely begin to graze. They are black-faced Persians, alike in size, in markings, even in their movements. Twins, in all likelihood, destined since birth for the butchers knife. Well, nothing remarkable in that. When did a sheep last die of old age? Sheep do not own themselves, do not own their lives. They exist to be used, every last ounce of them, their flesh to be eaten, their bones to be crushed and fed to poultry. Nothing escapes, except perhaps the gall bladder, which no one will eat. Descartes should have thought of that. The soul, suspended in the dark, bitter gall, hiding. (124) Not only is he concerned about the sheep, but he is drawn to contemplate the plight of sheep in general, hinting at the plight of all animals raised for the consumption of humans. Though the closing lines here are a bit ambiguous, whether referring to the soul of Descartes or the sheep, the connecting word gall in reference to the gall bladder leads me to believe that Lurie is now defying Descartes, suggesting that he should have thought of the lonely souls of animals that he symbolically casted out into a dark suspension of life. This is a dramatic shift for David who refused souls to animals earlier in the novel. Though he does not understand why, David becomes obsessive about the sheep. He allows an emotional connection to take place, and therefore opens himself up to empathy: A bond seems to have come into existence between himself and the two Persians, he does not know how (126). His mirror neuron system lies at the source, but of course Davids feelings puzzle him. The intimate connection he feels seems so irrational to him, Nevertheless, in this case I am disturbed (127). He feels himself morning the loss of the sheep, and when he looks inside himself for the source of his emotions, he only is able to find a vague sadness (127). Years of deflecting his emotions via his rational mind have silenced empathic feeling for so long that he is unable to recognize them fully nor detect their source, and Tom Herron points out that when surrounded as he is by abandoned, dying, and dead animals (those whose period of grace is either ending or has ended), the first flickering of sympathy and of love seem to ignite within him (471). Herron suggests that he connects with the animals, though subconsciously, because he exists in their realm of disgraced, heading toward their final end.

Hammond 22 All this leads to a car ride home from the clinic when David is overcome emotionally and must pull his car over because he is so overwhelmed. He weeps uncontrollably, sobbing as he feels for the animals deaths that he participates in. He at first rationalizes that he is not the one doing the killing, but then Nevertheless, he is the one who holds the dog still as the needle finds the vein and the drug hits the heart and the legs buckle and the eyes dim (142). He feels empathically, in this moment, the death of the animals that he had never even thought of in his past life: He does not understand what is happening to him. Until now he has been more or less indifferent to animals. Although in an abstract way he disapproves of cruelty, he cannot tell whether by nature he is cruel or kind. He is simply nothing. He assumes that people from whom crujelty is demanded in the line of duty, people who work in slaughterhouses, for instance, grow carapaces over their souls. Habit hardens: it must be so in most cases, but it does not seem to be so in his. He does not seem to have the gift of hardness. (143) David doesnt understand the changes in his emotional self, but neither does he understand himself in the past. He does not recognize that he had the gift of hardness until only a few months before, and his feeling for the animals has only come about as he has interacted with them empathically, facilitated by his mirror neuron system. He sees the animals as individual beings now and recognizes that he now feels for them, respects them. Louis Tremaine invokes The Lives of Animals when he refers to Luries type of experience as embodied knowledge and emodiedness (596), felt emotion on the level of the body rather than the mind. Animals comprise the only beings capable of engaging the embodied knowledge that of Lurie where humans only exist in the realm of the rational. This emotional self exploration leads to my final, and most profound, example of Davids empathic behavior in the novel. Bev and David put the dogs with no homes to sleep on Sundays, and he decides that he must be the one to take care of the corpses and the reason for this is profound. Not only does he haul the corpses to the incinerator, but he takes them home to Lucys home overnight so that he is able to personally burn them. He could simply leave them at the incinerator on Sunday, But that would

Hammond 23 mean leaving them on the dump with the rest of the weekends scourings: with waste from the hospital wards, carrion scooped up at the roadside, malodorous refuse from the tannerya mixture both casual and terrible. He is not prepared to inflict such dishonor upon them (144). He previously ascribed souls to animals, and now he deems them honorable and fears that the corpses will be disrespected. Indeed he sees that the workmen began to beat the bags with the backs of their shovels before loading them, to break the rigid limbs. It was then that he intervened and took over the job himself (144-45). In order to maintain the honor of the animals, he steps in and goes out of his way to give them a more respectful end, this after they have already died. He feels a violation by the workman to the animals in a way that he has been unable to see in himself with human beings. While he violated Melanie, the closest he comes to admitting his blame is when he tells Bev, I was the troublemaker in that case. I caused the young woman in question at least as much trouble as she caused me (147). In his relationship with animals, he proves himself honorable in bestowing honor upon them in a way that he never quite lives up to with human animals, and it is precisely as a consequence of their lack of power that they come to assume an exemplary transformative status (472) for Lurie. He lacks power over his own life and disgrace and finds in animals a similar state of existence that he is able to connect with, the animals becoming transformative in his empathic behavior. And yet, his rational mind is not willing to accept the sacrifice he makes for the animals as it minimizes his actions. In the end, he concludes that He saves the honour of corpses because there is no one else stupid enough to do it. That is what he is becoming: stupid, daft, wrongheaded (146). He deflects the emotions that he feels for the animals with his rational mind that sees the actions as ridiculous, a return to his old habits of deflection and indifference which leaves him a changed man, but only a little. Lurie finds it strange that a person as selfish as he should be offering himself to the service of dead dogs (146), and we find his behavior odd as well given his behavior with other human beings, but the animals have a profound impact on his empathic behavior. Likely, he is able to see his own despair and disgrace in their plight, headed towards death and deprived of the life that is natural to them. He becomes a dog-man

Hammond 24 (146) intimately connected through mirror neurons and empathy to a species not his own, becoming animal (Herron 471). Culture: Product of Imitation, Memes, and Mirror Neurons In what follows, I broaden the scope of the implications of the research I have done. While evolutionary psychologists and biologists have yet to integrate mirror neurons into their conception of mind and culture, they have been heading on the right track since Richard Dawkins publication of The Selfish Gene in 1972. Dawkins accelerated the pace and scope of studies in evolution, and here he first proposes memes as the basic unit of cultural heredity, and Iacoboni sees mirror neurons fitting nicely into this theory as the mechanism that drives our cultural behavior (Mirroring, 47-57). Because Iacoboni sees this as an essential connection, I will spend a moment tracing this line of thinking. In his book, Dawkins expresses excitement for what he refers to as a new kind of evolution: It is still in its infancy, still drifting clumsily about in its primeval soup, but already it is achieving evolutionary change at a rate that leaves the old gene panting far behind. The new soup is the soup of human culture. We need a name for the new replicator, a noun that conveys the idea of a unit of cultural transmission, or a unit of imitation. Mimeme comes from a suitable Greek root, but I want a monosyllable that sounds a bit like gene. I hope my classicist friends will forgive me if I abbreviate mimeme to meme. (192) Dawkins innogurates his new invention of the meme and memetics with excitement because never before had scholars conceived such a clear relationship between the brain and other people, especially in terms analogous to natural selection. Memetics is now widely studied in evolutionary anthropology and psychology and even has an entry in the OED (Meme). Dawkins advances our conception of society and cultural evolution with the concept of the memean attempt to define the smallest unit of cultural transmission. Dawkins suggests that memes propagate themselves in the meme pool by leaping from brain to brain (192) in a way that really can only

Hammond 25 be described by mirror neurons though the research on mirror neurons would not follow for more than 20 years. Dawkins celebrated the 30th anniversary of that first book with the dazzling The God Delusion where he picks up the meme theme again as a means of dismantling religion. He is rhetorically sharp in tackling god, and he clarifies his memetic theory somewhat. He suggests here that the memes can use hosts to reproduce parasitically (or symbiotically), analogous to a viruscomputer or human. He withdraws from personification of memes to suggest a more intimate connection with human beings. The memes represent units of cultural inheritance (222). The diction Dawkins uses is important as he describes memes that happen to be good at getting copied become more numerous at the expense of alternative replicators that are bad at getting copied (222). Mirror neurons are clearly the immediate replicators in the mind that are able to intstantly able to mimic the mental and emotional states of others (Iacoboni, Mirroring 47-9). Without the physiology of the mirror network, cultural communication and evolution remain elusive in the meme model, hovering and leaping somewhere above human brains, ethereal. Iacoboni focuses on the language of Susan Blackmore, a memeticist who I think is more precise in describing memes, probably because she writes 20 years after Dawkins introduction of memes. In The Meme Machine, she says the memes perpetuated in a culture are efficient in positioning themselves to be replicated. Successful memes in the meme pool are effective at getting themselves duplicated (10). Blackmore defines memes as unit[s] of imitation ... all of which are spread by one copying another (5). She further clarifies that they reside in human minds although she does not have mirror neurons as an advantage in proving her case. Still, she makes her case convincingly, picking up Dawkins terminology, referring to memeplexes as conglomerates of memes which, perhaps, are more effective survivors within the group than on their own. Insightfully, with forsight, Blackmore predicts that memes taken up or mimicked in the brain make imitation or copying possible, and she suggests that this makes the kind of mindreading or mentalizing that Goldman describes possible. Iacobini credits her for being ahead of the pack in seeing the role of imitation, copying, and mirroring as essential to empathy and cultural behavior.

Hammond 26 He suggests that mirror neurons are the mechanism within the brain of humans (and possibly nonhuman animals) that do the mimicking and they are responsible for the transmission of memes. (Mirroring 48-9). While Coetzees novel ends ambiguously, I believe there is reason for hope in the end because of the vision of society that Blackmore and Iacoboni, in particular, lay out. While his relationships with human animals does not come to a satisfying conclusion, Davids relations with animals have certainly changed. In reflecting about his ongoing work at the clinic, David says that He and Bev do not speak. He has learned by now, from her, to concentrate all his attention on the animal they are killing, giving it what he no longer has difficulty in calling by its proper name: love (219). He feels love for the animals that he does not seem able to show to human beings, and he has learned to concentrate, focusing now on the mirror neurons responding in his brain to another living being, bestowing love that only he and Bev feel. He sees the clinic as an almost sacred place where the soul is yanked out of the body (219), and he has no problem ascribing them souls nor feeling love for them. The influence of animals has made him conceive of animals differently which has the potential as a meme to become a contagion. Within his sphere of influence, the change in him affects other people and perhaps infect them. Memes are potentially infectious, and his change has the power to change others. Similarly, Coetzees novel is a memeplex which is capable of spreading in cultures. I struggle with the conclusion of the novel though Coetzee characterizes it in this loving light. David supposedly gives up the dog he has grown attached to out of love: He opens the cage door. Come, he says, bends, opens his arms. The dog wags its crippled rear, sniffs his face, licks his cheeks, his lips, his ears. He does nothing to stop it. Come. Bearing him in his arms like a lamb, he re-enters the surgery. I thought you would save him for another week, says Bev Shaw. Are you giving him up? Yes, I am giving him up. (220) He sacrifices what he loves in an act of love. But, we are left with the feeling that the nobler act would be to keep the animal, let her live. He clearly feels close to the dog. The imagery of the lamb also ties back to

Hammond 27 the sheep that David had grown attached to that were slaughtered for food, and we are made to question this act of kindness in giving him up. The dog is the stereotypical sacrificial, innocent lamb who must die. However, one might read this, with a bit of a stretch, as David sacrifing his own selfish desire to keep the dog as a companion. Earlier in the novel, David says that at the deepest level I think it might have preferred being shot. It might have preferred that to the options offered: on the one hand, to deny its nature, on the other, to spend the rest of its days padding about the living-room, sighing and sniffing the cat and getting portly (90). Correct or not, David seems to feel that animals are not meant to be encaged in the homes of humans, and the animals, if they could, would choose death over this sort of trap. Regardless of how we read the ending, Coetzee forces us to think profoundly about our relationship with the fellow animals of the earth, creating a powerful meme that will have an effect on those who read it. If David has potential to change his attitude toward nonhuman animals, perhaps the idea will take hold throughout our culture, through our empathy, our mirror neuron pathways, and an infectious memeplex. Lurie has changed in significant respects from the influence of empathy he has felt for animal life. He commits himself to a life he felt earlier he could not bear to live, in the country, with animals. Animals have changed him because he touches, hears, and interacts with them. This is a powerful meme that connects us with our evolutionary past and with the compassion which lies in the neurophysiology of brains waiting to be engaged. Derrida postulates that his cat is perhaps his most significant mirror, and this has played out true in Luries case. Coetzees novel enacts a meme that may now be picked up and replicated in the way that Iacoboni and Blackmore describe, in people and cultures. Herron states that the novel manages to allow what Derrida calls the animals address to the human whilst at the same time extending to animals human kindness, sympathy, and finally, love (489). If the novel has sufficient power, which I think it does, to connect with the culture, this memeplex Coetzee has created will enter the minds of individuals through

Hammond 28 their mirror networks, there being replicated and perpetuated, allowing our culture to overcome the deflection from a difficulty of reality that has plagued us for eons. In his 2003 Nobel Lecture, Coetzee conflates the lives of Daniel Defoe and his character Robinson Crosoe. When Crusoe returns from his adventures on the island, he finds himself changed and unable to enter the life he once lived. We find Lurie in much the same condition, married life was a sore disappointment too. He found himself retreating more and more to the stables, to his horses, which blessedly did not chatter, but whinnied softly when he came, to show that they knew who he was, and then held there peace. Lurie finds himself similarly jaded with the life of society and people, though he doesnt seem to have ever made an attempt to intermingle with them, but finds solace in the lives of the animals, who share in his finite plight of existing without needlessly expounding on them in words as there was too much speech in the world. As Crusoe, Lurie connects with the animals which heal rather than hurt and perhaps require less effort to connect with empathically, on the bodily level, the level of mirror networks and synapses without words. As he is conscious of his old age and declining years, perhaps he feels as Elizabeth Costello in The Lives of Animals, that it comes out of a desire to save my soul (43). The word desire has an ironic resonance in this context with Lurie throughout much of the novel where is ruled by his selfish desire to exploit the other.

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