Animal Rights and Wrongs by Roger Scruton (Claridge Press) Approaching the issue of animal rights from a secure philosophical grounding, this book presents practical, unsentimental arguments on animal rights and human duties towards them. Fully updated with new ideas on the livestock crisis and fishing, and with a layperson's introduction to philosophical concepts, the text presents a radical response to the defenders of animal rights and a challenge to those who think that because they are kind to pets, they are good for animals. Addressed are such paradoxes as why animal rights groups are so keen to protect the rights of badgers and foxes but not of mice and rats and why they find the raising of animals for fur more heinous than raising them for their meat. Insightful and challenging, animal welfare scientists, philosophers, and ethicists will find this brilliantly argued work full of humor, morality, and rationality.
A Nietzschean Bestiary: Becoming Animal Beyond Docile and Brutal by Christa Davis Acampora, Ralph R. Acampora (Rowman & Littlefield) (Paperback) Inspired by the ancient and medieval genre, A Nietzschean Bestiary gathers essays treating the most vivid and lively animal images in one of the philosophic tradition's greatest bodies of work. Leading scholars treat specific animals--such as the prowling beast of prey, Zarathustra's laughing lions, and the notorious blond beast--to ingeniously reveal how these creatures play a prominent role in the development of Nietzsche's philosophy. Numerous essays explore the nature of human animality and our relations to other animals. Contributors shed new light on Nietzsche's conception of power, freedom, and meaning. Research tools, including discussions of Nietzsche's influence on important twentieth-century philosophers and the most extensive index of animal references in Nietzsche's corpus, make this an essential volume for scholars and students alike
Excerpt: In the first chapter to her Philosophical Imaginary, Michèle Le Doeuff asks, "If someone set out to write a history of philosophical imagery, would such a study ever be as much an accepted part of the historiography of philosophy as histories of philosophical concepts, procedures or systems?"' She continues, "If one further argued that existing histories of philosophy are at the very least incomplete, not to say mutilating, in that they never present us with any individual philosopher's image-album, would such a reproach be deemed worthy of serious consideration?" Jacques Derrida, at least, has taken such questions seriously enough to direct their force upon himself and answer in the voice of animal autobiography: "It [his imaginary] would have amounted at the same time to something more and less than a bestiary." Perhaps an accounting of philosophic imagery along the animal axis can also be mounted with respect to other philosophers, living and historical. To accomplish this, of course, a great deal of disciplinary inertia would have to be overcome. Images, Le Doeuff correctly observes, are considered by most professional philosophers to be extrinsic to the real theoretical labor of a philosopher's writings. To dwell upon them is much like focusing on the wrap-ping of the gift of truth that the philosopher is supposed to give. Nietzsche's image-album is so extensive and so vivid that it has hardly gone unnoticed. Indeed, it might be said that it is precisely because Nietzsche's works are laden with images that there was, and perhaps continues to be, such reluctance to recognize his work as philosophy rather than literature. Le Doeuff's work endeavors to show that images are not only rhetorically interesting but that, despite various philosophers' protests to the contrary, such images play an essential role in the properly philosophic development of ideas (i.e., aside from questionable persuasive functions, such as slipping in unjustified claims and asserting dogmatic positions). Risking what Derrida calls "the troubling stakes of a philosophical bestiary, of a bestiary at the origin of philosophy," our intention in this volume is to display object lessons in support of Le Doeuff's gambit as it applies to Nietzsche' One of the project's motivations, then, is to enable an appreciation for the philosophic purposes of Nietzsche's metaphorical expression by focusing on this particular and prominent set of terms, perhaps illuminating paths for others to follow.
Another motivation for this project was our desire to intervene in con-temporary discussions on the traditional concept of "human nature" and in the emerging field of "animal studies." Research in the life sciences by figures as diverse as Frans de Waal, Steven Pinker, and Donna Haraway have given new currency to old debates regarding the definition of humanity as such. Controversies of an earlier generation over the political ramifications of sociobiology have morphed into philosophic disputes about the ontological import of primate ethology, evolutionary psychology, and cyborg biotechnology.' In addition, as walls of anthropocentrism are deconstructed, a multidisciplinary movement across the domains of science and "the humanities" is busily forming to reconsider the nature of nonhuman lives and cross-species encounters.' In the context of these explorations, we believe, an investigation of Nietzsche's "animal imaginary" can serve to illuminate historical developments of zoological constructs of other animals as well as self-conceptions of human animality.'
Following the keynote chapter that provides a thematic entryway into the topos of Nietzschean animality, the main body of the book is divided into five parts. The first one, "On `Lowly' Origins," is populated by animals that are given a low priority both in cultural currency at large and, at least superficially, in Nietzsche's own philosophic imaginary. The characteristics of these animals are typically associated with what is base and brutish in animality generally, with what humans pride themselves on having overcome. Each of the chapters in this division addresses Nietzsche's ambivalence toward these creatures and shows how they offer resources for what Nietzsche envisions as necessary to the future development of humanity as such. The second part, "Zarathustra's Animals," continues to develop the issues explicitly raised in the preceding part and ties them to prominent concerns in Thus Spoke Zarathustra, including the ideas of eternal recurrence and the overcoming of morality and humanity. The third part focuses on the most infamous creature in Nietzsche's bestiary, namely, the beast of prey, who is also associated with the blond beast, black beast, and lion. The three contributions to this division work together to trace Nietzsche's sources for this animal, its relation to creativity and violence, and the role it plays in his conception of the human animal. Various forms of human animality, including deficient and enigmatic forms, hybrids, and possible future forms are the subjects of the fourth division, "Human Animals." In these chapters, the authors consider the ways in which their subjects are figured as animals in order to devise a diagnostic tool or measure of the fitness of the human in relation to other animals. Nietzsche's goal in these cases is to develop therapies that would enable a more vibrant possibility for the human animal's future. The fifth and final part focuses upon Nietzsche's conception of himself as animal. These chapters reveal how Nietzsche thinks of his own "inner animal" and how he conceives the enterprise of philosophizing as drawing upon and cultivating various animal energies to appropriate different animal "styles." Finally, we conclude the volume with a set of reflections on Nietzsche's philosophic use of metaphor, focusing on the metamorphoses effected in his accounts of animal parts—paws, claws, and jaws—for the purposes of both imagining and instigating the transformation of human physis. This after-word is followed by materials that we expect to be especially useful to those who wish to pursue the themes of the volume, including a brief discussion of source materials for Nietzsche's famous account of the metamorphosis in Thus Spoke Zarathustra, a bibliographic essay that explores how Nietzsche's conception of animality is developed in the work of philosophers following Nietzsche, and an index of animal references in Nietzsche's works. The index is by no means exhaustive, but it does constitute the most substantial survey available in English, noting exemplary passages for the multiple purposes to which Nietzsche's references are put.
The chapters in the volume were generally written to stand on their own, and many supply entrées to Nietzsche's works for specialists and non-specialists alike. The reader might well read them out of order, dipping in and out of the book as one might do with the bestiaries of popular and classical literature, which supply brief moral lessons based on the trials and tribulations of various animal characters.' Nevertheless, the assembly of the chapters is not haphazard, and the reader might welcome further direction about what one can expect to find between these covers. The following overview introduces the topics of each of the chapters and highlights their points of intersection, diversion, and dialogue.
The first creature to appear is the ape, who is at once closest to the human and an object of ridicule even in Nietzsche's bestiary. Peter S. Groff skillfully explores how Nietzsche's figure of the ape emerges in the context of Nietzsche's naturalism, his reception of Darwin, and his self-proclaimed efforts to overcome the inflated sense of human value that is derived from the kind of anthropomorphism he strives to surpass. Nietzsche's reclamation of the animal in the human appears to reiterate a hierarchy that places the ape in a decidedly low position, one in which the beast is base relative to what Nietzsche takes to be properly human potentialities. Groff focuses on the connection between the ape and mimesis, in which case the apishness of imitation appears to be the chief target of Nietzsche's derision. The essay concludes with a brief discussion of Zarathustra's speech on the three metamorphoses of the spirit at the beginning of Thus Spoke Zarathustra. Groff thereby relates the transformation of imitation—which is how "the human being is more ape than any ape"—to the playfulness of the child in the final stage.
Charles Senn Taylor focuses on the apparent distinction between the camel and the lion in the same speech in Zarathustra and challenges the standard reading, which denigrates the camel for its reverence and valorizes the lion for its boldness. Recalling Nietzsche's instruction in Human, All Too Human, "Of First and Last Things," he explores the crucial role the camel plays as the "first thing" in the process of development that leads to the "last thing" that human beings are or can become. By calling attention to the essential function being-camel plays in exemplifying the nature of becoming, Taylor helps us see how the camel represents not merely a stage through which one hopes to pass on the way to child: the teaching of the camel affords opportunities for rumination about the process of sublimation through which our concepts, including those highest and most cherished by metaphysical philosophy, develop and obscure their origins.
It is the possible instruction for overcoming the metaphysical conception of the self as something singular, fixed, and determined that gives shape to Brian Domino's chapter on the smallest and seemingly simplest creature in the book, the polyp. Specifically, Domino focuses on the psychological effect of thinking of ourselves as a polyp-like collection of drives in which the various motives that organize our lives are thought of as so many arms of a polyp. These "arms" are nearly autonomous and autogenetic, and each seeks nourishment at the expense of the others. Domino does not so much as consider how the polyp represents something else that Nietzsche is endeavoring to describe as he explores the therapeutic value of the polyp as metaphor for life. Ultimately, Domino claims, Nietzsche's polyp psychology supplies new forms for conceiving the self, the intellect, and the soul—with the upshot that the intellect acts less as the chief manager or tamer of the soul and moreas a barometer of the degree to which the drives that constitute the self are harmonious.
The first among Zarathustra's animals to be discussed, the dog, similarly offers instruction about the conception of the ego as one of the metaphysical errors that Nietzsche claims we need to overcome. Gary Shapiro opens his chapter with discussion of Zarathustra's "On the Vision and the Riddle," in which the dog is joined by the spider and the snake in a passage devoted to Zarathustra's thought of eternal recurrence. Although the spider and the snake are most frequently discussed in relation to Zarathustra's idea, as elaborated below, Shapiro claims it is the dog who has the most active role in that section of the book insofar as the dog figures into our attachment to the ego and the idea of the self that the eternal recurrence appears to threaten. Focusing on how the training of dogs also involves disciplining those who would train them, Shapiro suggests that our prideful sense of individuality might very well be a result of the process through which we have pursued the domestication of other animals, including the so-called bestial elements of ourselves. In our exercise of power as domesticators, we have simultaneously disciplined ourselves into becoming the animals we are. If we truly respond to the howl of the dog, we shall understand that eternal recurrence requires us to give up the "dog we call `ego.
The figure of the spider is similarly woven into Nietzsche's concerns about metaphysical ideas that are debilitating or limiting and about the promise that the idea of eternal recurrence might somehow afford us a prospect of freeing ourselves from their webs. Alan D. Schrift develops these themes as he explores Nietzsche's ambivalent relation to arachnid potencies. Nietzsche's spider exhibits creativity (as self-creating genius) and deadly violence (as life-sucking), which Nietzsche likens to both an artist (as using materials at once delicate and strong) and metaphysician (as sick and a sickening spinner of concepts). Ultimately, Schrift concludes, Nietzsche appears to be more fearful than admiring of the spider, who acts more as "cunning trapper than a true predator" and threatens to catch poor Nietzsche in webs of philosophical concepts and to potentially infect him with the poison of life-denying morality.
Fear of poisonous infection is also at issue in Nietzsche's treatment of the snake, as Nickolas Pappas describes. But this is not all. As Pappas helpfully elaborates, the snake has multiple senses in Nietzsche's works and "does not slither straight to an index card to be filed under `enemy' or `knowledge' or `temptation."' Nietzsche's snake both retains and transforms the registers of meaning it acquires in Judeo-Christian theology as well as in the polytheistic
and other literary traditions with which Nietzsche was familiar. It is the snake's role in the transmission of the knowledge of eternal recurrence that Pappas finds particularly interesting. Nietzsche's animal imaginary appears to trade ophiophobia (the fear of snakes) for gynophobia in figuring the snake as the symbol of eternity, for it seems that even as Nietzsche favorably trans-forms the meaning of the knowledge that the snake conveys, he retains the gender of the snake as masculine. Nietzsche's masculine symbol of eternity figures it in terms of a future that has no maternity. For all his rhetorical prowess and cunning in the revaluation of values, Nietzsche might, in the end, feel a bite on the tail: by drawing upon such varied symbolic registers, Nietzsche's creatures cannot possibly all reside together in the same philosophical menagerie.
The connection between the feminine and the process of becoming other that informs the idea of eternal recurrence is also explored by Gary Shapiro in his chapter on the bird. Shapiro notices that Nietzsche associates the significance of his "gift to humanity," his work Thus Spoke Zarathustra, with sounding a halcyon tone. As a figure of self-sufficiency, dislocation, transformation, and fecundity, the female bird who builds her nest on the sea embodies what Nietzsche describes as his bird wisdom. Recalling illuminating features of the story of Alcyone, whose metamorphosis to the halcyon Ovid describes, Shapiro reveals how Nietzsche's bird wisdom is conveyed as "Alcyone and Zarathustra become-bird by entering into an alliance with winged creatures." The effect of this alliance is a new economy of desire, one figured not in terms of lack but rather as being drawn into a process of becoming other than what one is, and this new conception of desire and love recasts the significance of the feminine.
Shapiro frames Nietzsche's sense of becoming-animal as an Orphean trope, and it is precisely the music that Zarathustra plays on a new lyre and the new songs of eternal recurrence he sings that are the subjects of Tracey Stark's chapter on the cow. Stark considers how Zarathustra's teaching relates to rumination, making him "even better than a cow," as the voluntary beggar describes him in the fourth book of Thus Spoke Zarathustra. By illuminating the parallels between Zarathustra's quest and the mythical journey of the heroic Cadmus, who was led by a cow to the site where his city should be established, Stark endeavors to show how Zarathustra takes on the role of a cow leading his readers to a place in which new values and new forms of life can be founded.
Kathleen Marie Higgins rounds off the section devoted to Zarathustra's animals by picking up the theme of Zarathustra as a value-giver. Focusing onthe humor of Nietzsche's use of the ass metaphor in "The Awakening" and "The Ass Festival" in the fourth and final part of Thus Spoke Zarathustra, Higgins establishes the context of the medieval Ass Festival, which often included church clergy who disported themselves in presence of their flocks. The ass festival in Zarathustra, much like its historical model, Higgins argues, effectively undermines the power of ecclesiastical authority gaily; that is, humorously, creatively. In affronting those in whom such authority was invested, it models self-overcoming. Higgins emphasizes the comedic nature of this revaluation process, which stands in stark contrast to the grave character of the moralizing it overturns. By highlighting the ass as symbol of spiritual transformation, Higgins offers a highly suggestive reading of Thus Spoke Zarathustra that extends the metamorphic process initially described in terms of camel-lion-child in the prologue to include a fourth stage, that of the ass. This is not to say that Nietzsche sees asinine characteristics as the markers of the highest form of spirit, but rather that the innocence of the child is also informed by lessons learned and perspectives acquired through folly, which give Zarathustra's revaluating laughter a gnostic quality.
The character of laughter in Zarathustra is at issue in Paul Loeb's chapter on the lion, which provides the segue to the section devoted to the animal image that is most recognized in Nietzsche's corpus—the beasts of prey. We note that these are plural, since, as it will become clear from reading Gerd Schank's survey of Nietzsche's use of the terms "beast," "bestial," and "blond beast," Nietzsche drew upon various models and applied the terms in a variety of contexts. Daniel Conway further illuminates the bestiality of the beast as he provides a fascinating account of the place of the beast of prey in Nietzsche's philosophical anthropology. The part devoted to Beasts of Prey begins with Paul S. Loeb's careful exploration of the connection between the lion of Thus Spoke Zarathustra and the blond beast of On the Genealogy of Morals. Loeb rightly points out that many commentators seek to mollify the ferocity and brutality of the beast of prey in GM by gesturing back to Nietzsche's Zarathustra. The blond beast, it is claimed, is identical to, or is at least a close cousin of, the leonine stage of spiritual development. Thus linked, the predacious activities associated with the beast of prey are described as merely figurative descriptions of the development of spirit and do not refer to any anticipated actual violence against other living beings, particularly human beings. While Loeb agrees that these lion images are connected, he offers an original account of the character of the lion in Nietzsche's Zarathustra. Stemming from a novel interpretation of the narrative structure of the conclusion of the book, Loeb establishes the basis for the claim that the laughter of Zarathustra's lions signals not a spiritual gaiety associated with transcendence but rather the sinister delight in wanton destruction and physical violence.
Gerd Schank's chapter, skillfully translated by Jennifer Ham, is an edited version of materials written for the massive project that will eventually be published as The Nietzsche Dictionary. Schank's extensive research on the contexts of Nietzsche's uses of the terms "blond," "beast," "bestial," and other related words reveals that Nietzsche's use of "blond beast" is not intended to lionize the German peoples. Schank emphasizes that Nietzsche's admiration of the blond beast is tied to his concern to effect an agonized relation between Nature and culture. Nietzsche's beasts of prey are more intimately tied to that project, Schank claims, than to any racist vision of the future of humanity.
Steering a course somewhat between the two preceding chapters, Daniel Conway considers the blond beast as "a biomorphism, i.e., a human/hominid type"; creatures who "act like wild animals toward other human beings." Emphasizing the brutality of the blond beast, Conway recovers the more terrifying characteristics that have been minimized in the course of the effort to distance Nietzsche from his Nazi appropriations, but at the same time Con-way indicates how these very same characteristics are conceived by Nietzsche as life-giving. As Conway traces the development of Nietzsche's philosophical anthropology, he suggests that the beast of prey, rather than simply refer-ring to the "wild" state of prehuman history, provides a kind of missing link between our animal past and the sickly domesticated species we have become. In a discussion that is akin to Gary Shapiro's chapter on the dog, which notices that the enforcement of a kind of forming or shaping of others has the effect, a kind of backlash, of domesticating or training the trainer, Conway claims that the disappearance of the beast of prey is explained as the result of the beasts' particular ways in which they seized their captives. By domesticating their captives, the beasts of prey were transformed, virtually to the point of their own extinction. Conway masterfully situates Nietzsche's discussion of the ascetic priest in this context and anticipates a renascence of the beast of prey that would give it wings.
The chapters relating to human animals and hybrids continue to pursue Nietzsche's accounting for the development of the human animal, its deformations, and its prospective reformations. Three human animal forms illuminate these possibilities: that which is under (woman), that which is liminal (the satyr), and that which is overcoming (the overhuman). It is to the double nature of humanity (as both herd animal and predator) that Thomas Brobjer looks in his provocative chapter on Nietzsche's conception of the animality of women. Brobjer reveals that although Nietzsche appears to share some fairly commonplace misogynistic ideas about the nature and place of women, the way he characterizes their animality reveals how Nietzsche thinks about human animality more generally. It is not that Nietzsche discredits women for their herd mentality, as one might expect; he is, rather, cautious of their predatory nature, which has not been sufficiently tamed. Brobjer casts new light on the sources of Nietzsche's ideas and his vision of the specific disciplining of wildness Nietzsche imagines for at least some human beings. This bears on the relation between nature and culture, cultivation and destruction, and domestication and wildness that are prominent themes in other chapters.
Jennifer Ham emphasizes how Nietzsche's discussion of women reveals certain aspects of how Nietzsche thinks about freedom and the relation between the sexes (and species). Referring to practices of animal training contemporaneous with Nietzsche, she shows that he was actually quite concerned with the cruelty of taming projects as they might apply to both zoo-logical and gender relations. This insight leads her to the thesis that "in grouping women with animals, Nietzsche was arguing vociferously for their liberation within the context of a new, posthuman order." The latter trans-valuation is marshaled by and in Nietzsche's sexually charged imagery of animal/female "ensphinxment" and seduction by the figure of Circe as woman/ truth. In treating these images, Ham's stimulating study raises interest in questions of the liminal and hybridity—issues that are key to the next two chapters (on satyrs and on the Übermensch).
The satyr is a hybrid figure who occupies a liminal niche in the ecology of Nietzsche's bestiary. Lawrence Hatab brings into the spotlight this creature's exuberance of eroticism, dance, and playfulness and finds in these traits a Nietzschean emblem of the intermixture of nature and culture. The satyr, Hatab demonstrates, also played a role in the articulation and development of Greek theater by serving as an intermediary between tragedy and comedy. Its comic leanings and behaviors associated it with the boisterous banter and anti-authoritarian borderline obscenity prevalent in the Dionysian gatherings, or komos. Yet, as Hatab argues, the satyr is not reducible to a piece of vulgar humor; rather, it is "an experiment with inversions and crossovers on the fringe, meant not so much to destroy as to renew human culture."
That renewal, of course, is famously centered for Nietzsche on the ideal of the Übermensch. The Nietzschean narrative of transhumanity is the focus of Vanessa Lemm's contribution. Her interpretation reaffirms Nietzsche's take on (natural) history as a revolutionary endeavor in which "overcoming takes the form of a return to the beginning, to the animal." Lemm shows that and how Nietzsche's conceptions of humanity, animality, the human animal, and the overhuman animal are determined by the antagonism of memory and forgetfulness, of promise and subversion. The figure of the over-human animal pioneers the future of what Nietzsche calls the Umgekehrten, those free animal spirits capable of transvaluatory endeavors that overcome the cultural, political and moral meaning of civilization towards freer forms of human animal life and culture.
The last part of the bestiary proper, "Animal Nietzsche," groups together three chapters that treat Nietzsche's self-identifications with a variety of animal forms. Debra Bergoffen sheds light on, or rather tries to get to the bottom of, the anti-metaphysical work of the mole, discovering in her endeavor that this creature will not admit illumination in any transparent sense. The mole, that is, serves sometimes as a doppelgänger for and sometimes as a double agent against Nietzsche as author and philosopher, alternately contesting and affirming his own duplicities, such as trying to remain faithful to the earth even as he champions heights and (sun)light. These aspects of the mole metaphor are craftily interpreted by Bergoffen as signs of Nietzsche's ambivalent ideals of genealogy/under-going and Ubermensch/over-coming.
Ambivalence, likewise, is the watchword for Martha Kendal Woodruff's reading of the cat image in and for Nietzsche. According to Woodruff, while he has some nasty things to say about feline deceit and the sensual (reminiscent of his notorious remarks about women), "the traits Nietzsche attributes to cats he also seeks for his own life-affirming laughter, embodiment, and artistry." This last point is best seen and appreciated by consideration of the cat as a writerly mascot for Nietzschean stylism, and it is just such a consideration that anchors Woodruff's interpretation. Ultimately, she reveals how—like a cat—Nietzsche "approaches his goals crookedly and indirectly, curving around meanings, arching his back in the `archness' of irony, purring with secret pleasure."
Our review of Nietzsche's bestiary closes with a meditation on a seemingly inconsequential creature, the lizard. But as Babette E. Babich ingeniously shows, Nietzsche's lizard is anything but insignificant as it elicits reflection on the very heart of his philosophical aspirations. Skimming a path from Nietzsche's interest in alchemic transfigurations—that is, his abiding concern for revaluation and the transformation of what is base into something exceptional and rare—Babich considers how Nietzsche endeavored to bring about not merely a renewed concern for matters of style but, more important, a transformation of language itself. By tying Nietzsche's investigations of rhetoric to his interest in music and his conception of tragedy, Babich illuminates how Nietzsche sought to bring a new sense of time to his philosophical thinking and writing, one that would make it possible for us to finally "hear with our eyes" and become aware of the soundings of the Dionysian. As a figure of the fleeting character of thought, the lizard "is a metaphor . . . for lapidary, illuminated insights." In its capacity for regeneration, the lizard symbolizes alchemical transformation, and in its ectothermic regulatory functions, the lizard is a marker of convalescence and renewed health. Thus, our book of Nietzsche's animals concludes by uniting many of the threads sown throughout the volume and by sounding some of the most significant themes in Nietzsche's philosophy.
The final materials in the volume provide touchstones and tools for future development of these and related ideas. Christa Davis Acampora's chapter takes its starting point from consideration of what might be called Nietzsche's "Parts of Animals" and considers the ontological import of Nietzsche's use of metaphor. Bibliographic and source materials provide readers with ample resources for their own explorations. Jami Weinstein provides an extremely helpful bibliographic essay that sheds light on how Nietzsche's conception of animality gives shape to the works of those who follow him, particularly those of Deleuze and Guattari, Heidegger, Foucault, and Irigaray. Richard Perkins discusses fables and other literary texts that supply the key images for Nietzsche's Zarathustra's metamorphosis of camellion-child. And, finally, Brian Crowley collects and organizes an index of Nietzsche's references to most of the animals treated in the book, in which he notes not only their prevalent senses but also deviations, sources, and their development over time. We greatly look forward to seeing the fruit this research will bear.
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