Anthropocentrism and Taxidermy in Santiago Nazarian's Neve negra

  • Fernando Varela Vanderbilt University
Keywords: Embalmed animals, non-human, masculinity, patriarchy, snow


In the present essay, I argue that taxidermy is a fundamental element in Brazilian novelist Santiago Nazarian’s Neve negra (2017). To do so, I frame my argument by using studies on anthropocentrism and the relationship between the human and the non-human through taxidermy. The first part of the essay examines recent studies on taxidermy and primary sources from the nineteenth century that center on the art and science of skinning, preparing, and mounting dead specimens. The second part focuses on a close reading of Nazarian’s novel by studying the narrator’s patriarchal and masculine anxieties in conjunction with taxidermy and the non-human characters that appear in the novel.

Author Biography

Fernando Varela, Vanderbilt University

Fernando Varela is PhD candidate in Spanish and Portuguese at Vanderbilt University. He is currently writing a dissertation on the relationship between the museum of natural history and nineteenth-century literature of the Americas. His articles are forthcoming in Romance Notes, Hispania, the Journal of Lusophone Studies, and ISLE: Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and Environment.