Animal, animal, animal, âme dans des poils?
"I often ask myself, just to see, who I am - and who I am (following) at the moment when, caught naked, in silence, by the gaze of an animal, for example the eyes of a cat, I have trouble, yes, a bad time overcoming my embarrassment.
Whence this malaise?
I have trouble repressing a reflex dictated by immodesty. Trouble
keeping silent within me a protest against the indecency. Against the impropriety that comes of finding oneself naked, one’s sex exposed, stark naked before a cat that looks at you without moving, just to see. The impropriety [malséance] of a certain animal nude before the other animal, from that point on one might call it a kind of animalséance: the single, incomparable and original experience of the impropriety that would come from appearing in truth naked, in front of the insistent gaze of the animal, a benevolent or pitiless gaze, surprised or cognizant. The gaze of a seer, visionary, or extra-lucid blind person. It is as if I were ashamed, therefore, naked in front of this cat, but also ashamed for being ashamed. A reflected shame, the mirror of a shame ashamed of itself, a shame that is at the same time specular, unjustifiable, and unable to be admitted to. At the optical center of this reflection would appear this thing - and in my eyes the focus of this incomparable experience - that is called nudity. And about which it is believed that it is proper to man, that is to say foreign to animals, naked as they are, or so it is thought, without the
slightest inkling of being so."
— Jacques Derrida, The Animal That Therefore I Am (More to Follow), in Critical Inquiry, Vol. 28, No. 2