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Zoomorphism, from Greek z?on, meaning animal, and morph?, meaning shape or form, refers to the representation of animal forms in ornaments, or to the representation of gods in the form, or with attributes, of non-human animals, and also to the transformation of humans into beasts.

Portraying people as animals in order to dehumanize them is frequently used in propaganda purposes. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zoomorphism [Mar 2005]


HP Lovecraft [...]

A motif that predominates Lovecraft's fiction is zoomorphism. A strong example of this motif can be found in The Festival, a story in which Lovecraft's protagonist is lured by a cacophony of strange sounds to a ritual held in the bowels of decaying city. There he finds a horde of creatures leaking into our reality: "There flapped rhythmically a horde of hybrid winged things...not altogether crows, nor moles, nor buzzards, nor ants, nor decomposed human beings but a combination of these things that I can not and must not fully recall..." (The Doom..., pp. 54) --© 2001 John R. Harford, Surrealism , H.P. Lovecraft and Dream Reality [http://www.thefragment.com/essay/surrealwriting/surrealpoetry3.html, Mar 2004]

Lautréamont [...]

Even in his last essays Andre Breton continued to champion the writings of Lautreamont above the works of most of surrealism's contemporaries and influences. It is also in the works of Lautreamont that some blooming surrealist motifs become evident. (Balakian, pp. 51)

One of the key motifs which Lautreamont employs is zoomorphism. In Les Chants de Maldoror, the protagonist and other human characters are often seen metamorphosing into, or taking on the characteristics of animals in a literal or behavioral sense.


Although studies are limited, diverse approaches have been used to understand the role of plants in culture. Sommer (1988) begins to explore the use and meaning of plant terms in our language as he focuses on botanomorphism, or the tendency to describe human characteristics through fruit and vegetable metaphors. Bryant carries this exploration further, looking into other uses of plant terms in the American language. --Diane Relf, HUMAN ISSUES IN HORTICULTURE, HortTechnology April/June 1992 [http://www.hort.vt.edu/human/hihart.htm, Mar 2004]

Biomorphism [...]

Term derived from the Classical concept of forms created by the power of natural life, applied to the use of organic shapes in 20th-century art, particularly within SURREALISM. It was first used in this sense by Alfred H. Barr jr in 1936. The tendency to favour ambiguous and organic shapes in apparent movement, with hints of the shapeless and vaguely spherical forms of germs, amoebas and embryos, can be traced to the plant morphology of Art Nouveau at the end of the 19th century; the works of Henry Van de Velde, Victor Horta and Hector Guimard are particularly important in this respect. -- artnet.com, accessed Mar 2004

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