Powers Of Horror An Essay On Abjection Kristeva

Powers Of Horror An Essay On Abjection Kristeva-9
The answer is: we ceaselessly experience new beginnings, over and over.Time does not pass, it does not stop, it just keeps on starting over again and again.

As Chairman Mao once said, you count on yourself alone.

In counting on yourself, yourself is not in itself an identity, nor is it a personality or an individuality.

This year, I decided to focus on a less common but equally apt work in the canon of horror: the linguist and psychoanalyst Julia Kristeva’s classic work on abjection, (Powers of Horror).

Kristeva’s objective in this book-length essay is to address the role of abjection as a psychosocial property and a literary device.

Because an encounter is a dual thing: I go to meet people, who have in turn chosen to come to meet me.

The first people I met were Roland Barthes and then, through him Gérard Genette, who directed me to Philippe Sollers. At that time, Barthes was trying to explain that truth as a word is not taboo. When I attended their lectures, Genette and Barthes would ask me what I wanted to do, would ask about my thoughts on structuralism and Russian formalism.

Kristeva is careful to clarify the differences between the grotesque and the abject and how the abject can share in the material corpus of things that cause disgust but also transcends such a base emotional reaction.

Working from there, she approaches a variety of oftentimes surprising literary examples, such as the works of Louis-Ferdinand Céline and through these works places the apex of the literary interest in the abject to run alongside the same timeline as the romantic era focus on the sublime and further into the modern era focus on psychological realism.

‘Every year around Halloween—near the first of October, really, as I like to have a whole month for this—I tend to re-read old ghost stories by the like of M. James, folk tales of British corpse ways, and historical non-fiction about vampires from the Balkans.

Halloween makes for a grand excuse for becoming immersed in things gothic, the dark and gloomy for a whole month or better.


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