The Gothic crosses the Channel
Abjection and revelation in Le Fantôme de l’Opéra
in European Gothic
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Gothic fiction has been more recently revealed by several critics as a long-standing exemplar of what Julia Kristeva calls the production of 'the abject' and the process of 'abjection'. The Gothic crosses the channel more completely in the ways Le Fantome de l'Opera explores the 'new Europe' of its day more widely. This chapter draws out the boundary-crossing revelations and overtones that lie in those explorations, however undergrounded and abjected they are, into a 'political unconscious' sublimated within Gothic or semi-Gothic characters, actions and settings. The original Le Fantome de l'Opera abjects so many crossings of boundaries onto its title character. Thus, it makes the maximum symbolic use of the crossings of generic and class boundaries basic to the Gothic as a highly mixed form. It crosses international boundaries that the Gothic has achieved more and more after the eighteenth century.

European Gothic

A spirited exchange 1760-1960

Editor: Avril Horner

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