"Where Butchers Sing Like Angels," Of Captive Bodies and Colonized Minds (With a Little Help from Louise Erdrich)

Małgorzata Poks
2020 Review of International American Studies (RIAS)  
The Master Butchers Signing Club – Louise Erdrich's "countehistory" (Natalie Eppelsheimer) of the declared and undeclared wars of Western patriarchy–depicts a world where butchering, when done with precision and expertise, approximates art. Fidelis Waldvogel, whose name means literally Faithful Forestbird, is a sensitive German boy turned the first-rate sniper in the First World War and master butcher in his adult life in America. When Fidelis revisits his homeland after the slaughter of World
more » ... slaughter of World War II, Delphine, his second wife, has a vision of smoke and ashes bursting out of the mouths of the master butchers singing onstage in a masterful harmony of voices. Why it is only Delphine, an outsider in the Western world, that can see the crematorium-like reality overimposed on the bucolic scenery of a small German town? Drawing on decolonial and Critical Animal Studies, this article tries to demystify some of the norms and normativities we live by.
doi:10.31261/rias.7650 fatcat:ovbhrqruqfbd7gul47r37kwaze