Queer/Posthuman in Marie de France's Eliduc: Sanctuaires à Répit, Female Couples, and Human/Animal/Bare Life

  • Anna Klosowska Miami University


In Eliduc, two female weasels show the heroine how to resurrect her rival using a plant pharmacon, implying an essential identity between animal and human life. This indistinction is frequent in Marie de France's Lais, where the plot turns on human/animal hybrids (Bisclavret and Yonec) and things (a knot, a bird/martyr/relic of love). I also place Eliducin the context of sanctuaires à répit (respite shrines) where infants were returned to life long enough to be baptized. Respite miracles testify to the deeply felt need for indistinction between bare life and human life and they, along with Eliduc, show that posthumanism can be grounds for ethics, against Agamben and Aristotle who ground rights in exception and hierarchy.