From Virginia Woolf's Flush to Yoko Tawada's Memoirs of a Polar Bear, there are numerous literary works narrated by a singular animal, a first-person nonhuman “I.” But there are very few texts narrated by animals, by a “we” who speak as a collective. Why is this? And what does it tell us about the political unconscious of both animal narration and literary animal studies? This essay asks these questions in order to develop the prevailing analyses of “nonhuman narratology” and to critique the often presumed posthumanism of animal-narrated stories. While genres such as poetry and short stories offer paradigmatic experiments with nonhuman we-narratives, I argue that the lack of an animal collective voice within fiction is symptomatic of the novel form's individuating logics, which produce a conception of bounded personhood that is coded as ontologically human. Thus although animal narration productively extends the realm of narrative possibility towards our nonhuman neighbours, it also risks decollectivising animals and thereby foreclosing the liberatory horizons that much animal studies critique makes possible.

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