And yet the abject remains ambiguous; it fascinates as much as it repels.
And yet the abject remains ambiguous; it fascinates as much as it repels.Tags: Wuthering Heights Essays On RevengeAny Great Leader EssayProofread My Research PaperConfessions Saint Ine EssaysEgyptian Facts For HomeworkComprehensive Business Plan Template
It surfaces as the treacherous mother, the oral-sadistic mother, or as mother as primordial abyss; in images of blood, of the 'all-devouring' vagina, of the vagina dentata, and of the vagina as Pandora's box; in the representation of the monster as fetish of (or for) the mother and in the presence of the archaic, parthenogenetic mother.18 Over and over again, the horror film depicts "reworking[s] of the primal scene in relation to the representation of other forms of copulation and procreation."19 They center on the question of the origin of life, or - in its most extreme patriarchal form - the fear that the archaic mother could be the sole source of life.
This conceptualization of the archaic mother presents a stark contrast to Kristeva's mother of the semiotic chora, who is a pre-Oedipal figure and can therefore only be theorized in her relationship to her family and to the Symbolic.
So-called abjects point towards the impossibility of such an ideal transcendence of the physical.
In a literal sense the expression refers to abject secretions like excrements, blood, or puss; elements that threaten the subject's 'own,' proper body (corps propre) and therefore have to be expelled.5 This re-drawing of boundaries creates a sense of security, of inside/outside.
Her manifestations can usually be found in a film's mise-en-scene as a representation of her phantasmagoric aspects as in the first half of Alien (Ridley Scott, USA, 1979); Creed writes: Although the "mother" as a figure does not appear in [...] the entire film-her presence forms a vast backdrop for the enactment of all the events.
She is there in the images of birth, the representations of the primal scene, the womblike imagery, the long winding tunnels leading to inner chambers, the rows of hatching eggs [...] She is the generative mother, the pre-phallic mother, the being who exists prior to the knowledge of the phallus.20 Because she concentrates solely on her reproductive function and is posited outside morality and the law, she threatens the patriarchal symbolic order and has to be negated and discredited.
As described above, that body is inextricably linked with the repressed world of the mother, so that defilement rites such as the horror film visualize the frontier between the repressed maternal-semiotic authority and the symbolic Law of the Father as in The Exorcist (William Friedkin, USA, 1973), etc.16 In traditional conceptualizations of the genre, its fascination with blood, especially the bleeding female body (said to symbolize not only her own 'castrated' state, but also the possibility of castration for the male) points towards castration anxiety as one of the basic motives of the horror film.17 Barbara Creed, however, demonstrates that the representation of the monstrous-feminine in the genre could also be based on entirely different anxieties, situated beyond the phallocentric patriarchal order.
Such dangerous femininity can be found in representations of the primal scene, of birth and death.
Kristeva calls this space chora (Plato's "empty space"); it presents a preverbal dimension of language structured by sensual impressions and the bodily needs of the child, not by language.3 Here the child learns to differentiate proper and improper, clean and unclean areas of the body.
The maternal figure is of the utmost importance in this process.