Close encounters of a fatal kind
in Over her dead body
Abstract only
Log-in for full text

You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.

manchesterhive requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals - to see content that you/your institution should have access to, please log in through your library system or with your personal username and password.

If you are authenticated and think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

Non-subscribers can freely search the site, view abstracts/extracts and download selected front and end matter. 

Institutions can purchase access to individual titles; please contact for pricing options.


If you have an access token for this content, you can redeem this via the link below:

Redeem token

This chapter discusses two novels by Thomas Hardy, Far from the Madding Crowd and Tess of the D'Urbervilles, to illustrate the strategy of self- protection and self-generation. Sacrifice and art come to pose as diametric opposites, both feeding on death and femininity as semiotic mobility. The chapter describes examples where a desire for closure encounters an opposing desire that undermines this totalising ambition. This subversive tendency emerges on the very site of presumed mastery and control, the feminine corpse. The exchange of female bodies and the forms of exchange occurring at their bodies prove how fatal it can be to confuse a body with a sign. In a particular instance, the dead body functions as the necessary prerequisite for the aesthetic and hermeneutic process.

Over her dead body

Death, femininity and the aesthetic


All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 148 28 1
Full Text Views 27 4 0
PDF Downloads 19 8 0