Books similar to Powers of Horror: An Essay on Abjection

 The Heathen Inside:

Abjection, in the forms of darkness, death, hunger and annihilation, have left the world empty and without meaning. The "void" is precisely what Kristeva imagines when she says that all abjection is the recognition of "the fundamental lack of all being" (Kristeva 128). Without human, animal, or plant life, the earth does indeed lack being, meaning, and language. No humans are left to produce either meaning or language. Abject figures, in the forms of darkness, hunger, death and destruction, have drawn the earth to the point where meaning collapses into chaos. Even the earth itself seems to collapse as a lifeless, shapeless "lump."

However, while resistance on the Copperbelt appears axiomatic, and strikes remain commonplace, the processes of abjection have radically altered the local power context. Resistance among mineworkers must be understood within the new context in which power operates. Abjection has led to three interrelated trends which have strongly impacted upon the power context of the Copperbelt, and thus, the nature of contemporary resistance amongst mineworkers:

This consciousness of their role in the economy, and the fight to gain from the surplus of their labour, remains evidenced amongst mineworkers on the Copperbelt today. Strike action and protest has continued (Editorial Zambia Daily Mail 2011; Chisala and Mwale 2011), even through the boom period 2004-2008, as mineworkers continue to feel the forces of abjection which provide few benefits or developmental prospects for themselves whilst accruing steep profits for mining companies.

Track: Time as AbjectionArtist: Buried InsideAlbum: Chronoclast (Selected Essays on Time-Reckoning and Auto-Cannibalism)

The 16 large-scale acrylic works are obsessive and oppressive, manic and terrible, rendered in a bouncy, bright palette that evokes Californian vitality. The dominant colours are bubble-gum pink, sky blue and sunshine yellow; the weather is always wonderful in these nightmarish tableaus. Like Rocky and other early films, which are more affecting and restrained, the power of these paintings derives from their repetition. They continue to scream their obscenities at you until you can’t take it anymore. They are abject with a vengeance.

Kristeva essay on abjection - Silver State Specialty …

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Powers of horror an essay on abjection – Seter-Lebanon

The narrator of "Darkness" presents the annihilation of the sun as abjection, in that darkness cannot be described or located within a web of meaning. As Kristeva says, the abject comes from somewhere outside the self, and is strange and unassimilable. The first two lines of "Darkness" read, "I had a dream, which was not all a dream / The bright sun was extinguished" (Byron 1-2). Following the blotting of the sun, darkness, as Kristeva would say, "seems to come from an outside or an exorbitant inside" (Kristeva 125). Darkness and its origin cannot be explained since the narrator does not elucidate the who, what, why and how of the sun's demise. Kristeva herself, in "Approaching Abjection," explains abjection in terms such as "abjection is" or "abjection is not," making passive voice a marker for abjection. Abjection is abject precisely because it is ambiguous, uncertain, and beyond explanation. The narrator of "Darkness" gives no agency to the blotting of the sun because the inception of darkness is vague and unclear; darkness is abject. Passive voice in Kristeva's essay and in "Darkness" is a discursive representation of abjection's existence at the point where meaning collapses. The abject, coupled perpetually with the verb to be, cannot be located within a precise web of meaning. Because the darkness cannot be explained, and because it is so strange and other, it becomes a great source of fear to the men on earth.

Media representations of illnesses, particularly those associated with stigma such as non-suicidal self-injury (NSSI), not only define health conditions for mass audiences, but generally do so in ways that are consistent with dominant ideologies. This article examines the construction of non-suicidal self-injury as practiced by female adolescents and young adults in four US films: Girl, Interrupted, Painful Secrets, Prozac Nation, and Thirteen. The methodology used to examine the films’ narrative structure is Kenneth Burke’s dramatism, while Julia Kristeva’s concept of abjection informs the analysis. On one hand, a paradigmatic reading suggests that the films frame self-injury as resistance to repressive maternal domination of female adolescents. On the other hand, syntagmatic analysis reveals a privileged response to NSSI in the form of pacification administered by psychotherapists functioning as the return of the phallic-mother fantasy.

[48] Julia Kristeva, Powers of Horror: An Essay of Abjection (New York, NY: Columbia University Press, 1982), p. 4.

Enables powers of horror an essay on abjection.

In David Halperin's formulation of abjection (), the promiscuous behavior of some gay men has come to threaten the “normalization” of “gayness” and alienate the concomitant goal of equality. While Halperin specifically addresses gay men, his ideas may also be applied to trans subjects. He argues that it is becoming increasingly commonplace for many gay men to mimic a desexualized heterosexual existence consisting of married, monogamous couplings and to emphasize their normativity in order to appear acceptable to others. Yet, as Halperin argues, by acknowledging and welcoming the abjection that accompanies their subjectivity and subsequently taking advantage of the moments when meaning collapses, marginalized subjects (including transgender individuals and gay men) can question the hegemonic forces that seek their oppression and in the process regain control of the signification of their subjectivity.


An Essay on Abjection”

Vivien, the vicious punk rocker whose only object of desire is his car, and Michael, the ever aloof and cynical medical student are the two dominating characters. The four of them live in a share house in London, in a depressive void, a black hole, in abject poverty. The classic 'bad attitude' exists in all of them but from where does this attitude spring from"? There is no food in the house so they eat snow. Vivian burns the furniture so as to keep warm as they cannot afford fuel. Neil thinks that there is a "Polterghost" in the house because the furniture keeps disappearing. They all seem to be in exile, in their own little void, and the communication between them seems severed and non-cohesive. There is a complete absence of love, compassion, desire and gratification. Some ancient spirits, beheaded ghosts (well, just the heads), do happen to be inhabiting the house. Leftovers from King Arthur's time, perhaps symbolising a wish for extrication from old values. Viv says "there are no ghosts -no God". Neil can't get a job because he needs an alternative lifestyle. Constraints of our culture where people feel they can't be themselves and belong, the boundaries of our culture are too restrictive. The characters of The Young Ones are always making political digs, looking at the camera and saying comments like "Fascist Thatcher", an act of a boundary crossed.....in film ethics and in politics

Myth, Abjection, Otherness: Contemporary Australian Art Justin Clemens Volume 68, Number 3, 2009

An abject reading of "Darkness" can help return the poem, as a piece of Romantic literature, to its context in the material and political reality of British colonialism and imperialism. Using Fulford and Kitson's notion that all Romantic texts are to some degree engaged in the historical and political reality of British imperialism, "Darkness" can be read as a poetic dialogue with traditional . When read in this light, the figures of abjection in "Darkness" can be seen as vehicles for exploring the implications and ambiguities of the colonial narrative. In colonial discourse, the colonial subject is othered by an imaginary division between the "civilized" colonizer and the "savage" colonized. The colonial other becomes an abject to the colonizer, because the colonizer consciously or unconsciously projects all of his or her negative qualities onto the other. Colonial discourse rejects the colonial other just as the self rejects the abject, as essentially outside, strange, and grotesque. Traditional colonial discourse constructs the "white man's burden" (Fulford and Kitson 3) as bringing light (knowledge, enlightenment) to the colonized world. This colonial process is imagined to be sanctioned by religion and government. Within the first two lines of "Darkness," abjection as neither subject nor object questions the integrity of this colonial narrative. In "Darkness," the sun, the greatest light of all, is extinguished by an unknown figure and for unknowable reasons. Bringing light to the world is rendered impossible, and light is out of the control of both humanity and divinity. Abjection also questions the validity of colonial othering, which posits an essential difference between the colonizer (subject) and the colonized (object). Throughout "Darkness," the men are described in barbaric, animalistic terms that are often used in colonial discourse to describe conquered peoples. The men "gnashed their teeth" (Byron 32) and are described as savage cannibals. However, "Darkness" does not suppose, like colonial discourse does, that barbarism is only the characteristic of the colonial other. When the two surviving men face each other as enemies, they are destroyed by their "mutual hideousness" (Byron 67). Since abjection and ugliness are present in both men, there can be not true other on which one man can project all of his unwanted qualities. When read closely within a context of emergent British colonialism and imperialism, "Darkness" appears to be troubled by the implications of the colonial narrative. Perhaps, then, colonialism and imperialism are the true abjections in "Darkness:" the true sources of fear, ambivalence, and ambiguity.