Powers of Horror: An Essay on Abjection (European Perspectives) (European Perspectives Series)

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Powers of Horror: An Essay on Abjection (European Perspectives) (European Perspectives Series)

Powers of Horror: An Essay on Abjection (European Perspectives) (European Perspectives Series)

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Or: diners becoming ill when they learn their soup had a cross dipped in it, or local disgust prompting a hotel owner to burn a bed after learning Ghandi had used it.

The work is an extensive treatise on the subject of abjection, [1] in which Kristeva draws on the theories of Sigmund Freud and Jacques Lacan to examine horror, marginalization, castration, the phallic signifier, the "I/Not I" dichotomy, the Oedipal complex, exile, and other concepts appropriate to feminist criticism and queer theory. It’s interesting to consider how many bodies without souls emerge within the horror and gothic genres: vampires, zombies, robots, etc.I should make it clear as well that I'm no expert, and I certainly have not read this book in the original language as my French extends no further than the edges of a menu. It is something rejected from which does one does not part, from which one does not protect oneself as from an object.

Psychoanalytic thinkers would likely locate the problem somewhere in that zone where the sexual overlaps with the parental, aka "the ick field. If you could just cut it off and remove it, you would; but what you settle on doing is exercising and trying to eat right, but mostly just hating it. It’s there, too, when, after a certain age, your mother wants to dress you in certain clothes, but you have your own stuff; when your father wants to know how your date went last night, but it went so well that you don’t want to tell him; and when you think about moving back home and sleeping in your old bed with the Spiderman pillowcases. After spending several years reading French theoretical texts I no longer lack the stamina or patience to care about what half of what is said in them. Important to this book and all others in its field is the idea that the identity of things is not just maintained by what they are, but by what they are not.She concludes her essay by revealing the importance of the abject in its ties to politics and religion; the most powerful - yet inhumane and oppressive - institutions built on the notion that we must be protected from the abject. After you expelled the spit, it became other; but a special kind of other, an other that has been abjected.

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