questions about the act of seeing, the nature of perception and its
relation to knowledge. These uncertainties emerge in
transformational processes foregrounding themes of vision and
themes of desire and their intersections with shifting
emphasis (to borrow Todorov’s distinction without its
theoretical underpinnings). The obsession with monstrous creatures
on the desire for power and the power of
This chapter focuses on Pasolini’s creation of a form of
new politics. This novel form of politics interrupts the violence which
governs the desire for power that has come to coincide with the power of
desire. This coincidence of sexuality, domination and violence
characterises what Freud presented when he first discussed the Oedipus
, and all the desires,
dangers and potential for change which such a breaking out, such
exposure, such exchange offers. Threats come from within as much as
without, from internalised and imposed notions of the abject, against
which develops a notion of queer and queer theory, which offers new
perspectives on sexuality and on gender as performance.
A double abjection: what could be more abject and
Chatterjee argues that Fenwick in Secresy (1795) uses images of lesbian desire in order to challenge the then prevailing models of gender. Fenwick‘s associations with such Jacobins as William Godwin, Mary Wollstonecraft, and Mary Hays underline her radical credentials, and Chatterjee argues that Secresy develops feminist ideas drawn from Wollstonecraft. However she also argues that the novels focus on same-sex desire challenges the whole notion of gender ascriptions in the period and so ultimately moves the debate beyond Wollstonecraft.
Gothic aesthetics and feminine identification in the filmic adaptations of Clive Barker
representation of pleasure and pain. This is primarily because
Barker's vision offers a complex interplay of aesthetics and
modes of emotional affect, and more importantly for the female
horror film audience, his sensibility invites a strong sense of
identification and desire around the concept of highly ambiguous and
desirable figures of monstrosity. Barker's work (in both film
Gothic fictions have, from their beginning, been fabrications. Shaped by their time, Anne Rice‘s vampire novels – Interview With The Vampire and The Vampire Lestat – participate in a logic of simulation: the former offers a nostalgic pastiche of Romantic and Baudelairean modernity; the latter an overblown reanimation of pagan and ancient mythologies. For all their nostalgia and recyclings, these postmodern romances remain tied to contemporary ahistorical and reversible axes of consumption and exhaustion, fatally in-human desiring and technological novelties, flaccid fantasies and tired trangressions.
In Alien3 Lt Ellen Ripley finds herself in a nightmare scenario. She has crash-landed on an abandoned prison planet, ‘Fury 161’, surrounded by a remnant of the inmate population (twenty-five prisoners, a medical officer and two administrators who have opted to remain in a care-taking capacity after the prison/refinery was closed). The prisoners are a violent group of rapists and murderers with double-y chromosome coding, who can only seem to control their excessive expressions of masculinity by fanatically embracing a fundamentalist religion. Ripley sums up the group as ‘a bunch of lifers who found God at the ass-end of space’. On one level, this setting begs for a story of male homosexuality: an all-male prison planet filled with sexual aggressors could be the recipe for a gay male porn classic. Instead, it becomes a tale of excessive masculinity manifested through heterosexual fears and desires. I want to take this discrepancy between homo-possibilities and hetero-manifestations as my point of departure to explore how Alien3s engagement with the Gothic diverts and expresses anxieties about queer masculinity, desire, and sexuality.
Character Doubling and Social Critique in the Short Fiction
A. A. Markley
As she had done in Frankenstein, Mary Shelley reworked the gothic dopplegänger motif time and again in her short fiction not only to entertain but also to educate her readers. Focusing on four tales written in the late 1820s and early 1830s, this paper considers how Shelley repeatedly set up a triangle of desire in which an intensely competitive and destructive relationship between men is mitigated or resolved by a female character. A close look at these tales contributes to our understanding of the extent to which Mary Shelley devoted herself to remodelling Gothic modes. More importantly, these tales demonstrate the degree to which her ‘New Gothic’ was intended to contribute to a reconfiguration of traditional gender roles and a revaluation of the domestic affections, particularly in terms of their relevance to the political arena.
Angela Carter‘s Exposure of Flesh-Inscribed Stereotypes
The human body is a crucial site for the inscription of cultural paradigms: how people are perceived controls the way they are treated. Postmodernist writers have shown sexual roles, racial inequalities and other forms of discrimination to be parts of a process of reductio ad absurdum, consisting of the identification of the individual‘s social functions with their anatomical features as well as with the habitual marking of their bodies. This article examines Angela Carter‘s The Infernal Desire Machines of Doctor Hoffman where Carter‘s refusal of established body politics is most clearly dramatised. This novel exposes the dreary consequences of power/weakness relations, together with its contradictory exploitation of Gothic devices, making it an esssential testimony to Carter‘s postmodernist reconfiguration of worldviews and narrative modes.