Please upgrade your browser

For the best experience, you should upgrade your browser. Visit our accessibility page to view a list of supported browsers along with links to download the latest version.

Friendship

'Friendship' is Professor Johnny Golding's contribution to The Edinburgh Companion to Animal Studies, being a volume which critically investigates current topics and disciplines engaging with scholarship on Animal Studies. Friendship names the raw, sensuous, delicate, multi-dimensional, secret intelligence shared by sentient beings at the moment of their extended encounter. It requires nothing of identity politics, selfhood, social agency, though its very expression enables and indeed solidifies, all this and more. Unlike companionship, it generates a strangely emboldened shared knowing, a suspended aliveness of (and to) otherness without recourse to an old-fashioned ‘mastery’ or ‘authority’ or binaric split between ‘self and Other’. This is not a suspended aliveness as in ‘freefall’ or some kind of nihilistic relativism that generates an always-already ‘in between’ or ‘transitioning’ state of affairs. Leastwise it is ‘romantic’, though its irruptions have launched over a thousand delicious plateaus. Friendship requires a wholly different logic of senses, emotions, libidinal economies, calculations and intentions, closer to the Socratic parrhesia (truth) and its reinvention by Foucault in his Courage of Truth, as epimeleia (the technologies of care). Drawing on a specific encounter, a wild encounter, one stretched over a seven-year period with a semi-feral mustang whose precise split-down-the-middle brown/white face, earned him the Ojibwe name “Manhattan” (corrupted from “Madweijwan, the ‘heard-flowing’ of where the two rivers meet), these remarks here today will step into that suspended aliveness of (and to) otherness in order to develop a wholly different logic of this event-secret-sensuous intelligence called ‘friendship’. 

The Edinburgh Companion to Animal Studies
Edited by Lynn Turner, Undine Sellbach, Ron Broglio

ISBN Hardback: 9781474418416
Edinburgh Companions to Literature
Published April 2018