Spinning Theory: Three Figures of Arachnopoetics

  • Matthias Preuss
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Animals and Literature book series (PSAAL)


In pursuit of arachnids in literature and its theory, this chapter offers an analysis of three different zoopoetological figures of spiders inhabiting Ovid’s Metamorphoses and unfolds the theories about animal contributions to poetry implicated in each. The notion of corporeality that foregrounds animals as medium is fleshed out and introduced as an antidote to a reductive semiotic approach to animals in texts. Ultimately, an understanding of literature as secretion is proposed, accounting for animal matter as a substrate of literature and resisting the tendency to consume animals in criticism and theory. Acknowledging that various forms of life and forms of death are entangled in intricate ways, literature is affirmed as one knot in this web.

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Matthias Preuss
    • 1
  1. 1.Ruhr-Universität BochumBochumGermany

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