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By Rina Arya (auth.)

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Extra resources for Abjection and Representation: An Exploration of Abjection in the Visual Arts, Film and Literature

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In this crossing of the boundary, the stability of my self is threatened and ‘I’ am not stable enough to expel it – it is ‘I’ who is expelled (Kristeva, 1982, p. 4). This example conveys what the abject does to the subject– object positions that govern our thinking and way of ordering the world: Neither subject nor object, the abject makes clear the impossible and untenable identity of each. If the object secures the subject in a more or less stable position, the abject signals the fading or disappearance, the absolute mortality and vulnerability of the subject’s relation to and dependence on the object.

Over and above this particular study she was committed to addressing social inequality. However, she has also been the target of feminists because of her controversial use of theory. In the 1980s and 1990s a number of Anglo-American feminist theorists raised objections to Kristeva for a number of reasons. Her allegiance to psychoanalysis was the first obvious criticism. Why would a feminist philosopher choose to give such credence to theories that had so patently discriminated against women? Elizabeth Grosz argues that Freudian and Lacanian approaches theorize about a male body, implying a certain redundancy when thinking about the female body (Grosz, 1994).

Introduced in Plato’s Timaeus, the ‘chora’ is initially referred to as the ‘receptacle of all becoming’ and is subsequently called space, where it is conceived of as a field in which the universe may exist (Zeyl, 2013). In her appropriation of the term, Kristeva exploits the fluidity of the space that cannot be fixed. In Revolution in Poetic Language she argues that ‘[a]lthough the chora can be designated and regulated, it can never be definitively posited: as a result, one can situate the chora and, if necessary, lend it to a topology, but one can never give it axiomatic form’ (Kristeva, 1984, p.

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