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Composing on Powers of Horror

Assignment id 1000181
Discipline Self Improvement
Assignment type Essay
Words 3151
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Julia Kristeva's concept of the abject as notes in her essay Powers of Horror focuses on that which 'does not respect borders, positions, rules. The in-between, the ambiguous, the ' publication', having a different focus on that the abject describes the human response to a compromised breakdown in meaning caused by the reduction of the distinction between subject and object or between other and self. William Burroughs' Naked Lunch and Angela Carter's collection of re-worked fairy tales in The Bloody Chamber, both exude the notion of the abject compelling the reader to question their own reaction. These texts concentrate on the abject notion of gender, that which is non-consensual, violent and encourages a feeling of moral conclusion. There is a different portrayal of this liminal state between self and other and life and death in the two texts specifically from the destruction of identity via the excretion and exchange of bodily fluids, that which forces a reader to feel embarrassment or disgust for the characters. The notion of addiction features chiefly as an aspect of this abject, dismissing the boundaries of identity in gaming with people's lifestyles and the disrespect for places in society in the drug culture of Naked Lunch. The notion of the abject is made in both of these texts through carefully assembled imagery and language that forces the reader to evaluate their own ethical compass and react accordingly with a suggestion from the author via narration as to how they ought to respond. In a decade in which gender was so regularly silenced, Burroughs' novel Naked Lunch could only be viewed as a pornographic and invasive portrayal of a procedure that the folks of this 1950's believed should stay behind closed doors. '' Burroughs' graphic descriptions of sexual acts...

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