Julia Kristeva's Powers Of Horror

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This research is essentially guided by the psychoanalytic concepts of Abjection and The Uncanny propounded by Julia Kristeva (1982) and Sigmund Freud (1919) respectively. These concepts complement each other on the different analytical aspects of the texts under study. In some stages of the study, the analysis is reinforced by Propp (1968)’s narratological functions to examine the textual narrative processes that generate a horror world. An overview of these concepts is therefore necessary in order to understand how they relate to the texts the study is concerned with. The concept of abjection developed in Powers of Horror: An Essay on Abjection is a psychoanalytic concept that was brought forward by Julia Kristeva in 1980 in her analyses on the workings of the human body in contact with a dismal object or situation. Literally, the term ‘abjection’ means “the state of being cast off” (p.27). In the general use, the concept suggests degradation or debasement. It is understood as that “which inherently disturbs conventional identity” (p.32). In a psychoanalytic context, the abject refers to the spontaneous…show more content…
Barbara Creed (2009) notes that “the place of the abject is where meaning collapses,” the place where one is not (p.128). It is not easy to understand how a mother takes a saw and cuts deliberately her own baby that she indeed loves as the baby itself is a reflection of the mother’s own self. Yet, Sethe does so as her ego experiences an abject state that transforms her being into a strange mother. Creed maintains that the abject threatens life; that “it must be radically excluded from the place of the living subject, propelled away from the body and deposited on the other side of an imaginary border which separates the self from that which threatens the self”(p.111). Creed’s observation asserts the grim nature of the abject in which a person experiences the collapse of their
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