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.
– is thus perceived by Gordon as almost comically vulnerable and unworldly, a victim of ‘the credulity of an honest and unsuspicious nature’. Though the incredulity of the Scots is yet to be tested – Spurzheim arrived in Scotland only in June 1816 – the trenchant Gordon seems sure of their native discrimination, the more so given his own association with a capital city famed for its teaching of practical anatomy:
That Drs Gall and Spurzheim, however, should have brought over any of the better
Brutishness, discrimination and the lower-class wolf-man from The Wolf Man to True Blood
crimes and white nationalist rhetoric, the werewolf has become a perfect metaphor for discrimination against those who are not members of a dominant population, whose demographic signifies Other. The evolution of this curious discrimination appears in many examples in addition to the three primary cinematic texts addressed in this chapter.
Diego Rossello addresses lycanthropy and its relevance to social critique and analysis by linking the folkloric belief to Thomas Hobbes's seventeenth-century ‘Epistle Dedicatory’ of De Cive (1642). Rossello
have happened if those men had known how to politely greet the dreadful chthonic ones’ ( 2016a : 54). It is a fable fit for the Chthulucene: the encounters that have involved the discrimination against those deemed to be Other, or ‘earthly’ and thus repellent in the view of sky god-dominated cultures, will (and have) become the instruments of far-reaching destruction, repressions that will erupt and return to haunt. What might the story have otherwise been, conjectures Haraway, and how might we now aim to redress the balance by honouring multiplicity and difference
Romances, novels, and the classifications of Irish Romantic fiction
, p. 2). In other words, Le Fanu wants not wholly to condemn romance and its associated sensibility but to promote instead readerly ‘discrimination’. 57 A key example in this advocacy of detached and discriminating reading is the flighty and flirtatious Arbella Ferrars. Although intrinsically good-natured and kind of heart, Arbella too easily adopts the principles of the texts she reads, without due consideration of their merits and demerits. For this reason, she at one point espouses a philosophical abhorrence of religion derived from certain books ‘in Lord
condemned, which may have been influential in leading Eliot first to question and then to shrug off her Evangelical faith around that time. One such passage, early in the book, chimes with my analysis of Adam Bede : ‘the most excellent, the first, the supreme being; it essentially presupposes a critical judgement, a discrimination between the divine and the non-divine, between that which is worthy of adoration and that which is not worthy’.
The presupposition of the excellence of the first human being in Egyptian
mime aesthetic shares the kind of snobbish disdain for everyday things that Barbara Jones wanted to contest in Black Eyes and Lemonade . The silent theatre attempts to frame the world according to the discriminations of a ‘sophisticated’ eye which supposedly sees past the clutter and squalor that obscures the realm of platonic idealism. In contrast, like Jones, Jake is alert to the gothic energy that these abject and unruly objects harness in order to resist demotion from the zone of visibility. When he spends the night in the crowded prop room, he is disturbed by
race, as the inequalities entrenched between
vampires, werewolves, werepanthers and humans, and the resultant
conflicts inspired by them, suggest.
The series also negates the concept of
‘post-race’ America through its representation of the
‘racial’ discrimination prompted by the public emergence
of vampires. In the contemporary world of the South, racial intolerance
the circus at various stages of their
lives to escape discrimination by their fellow Mexicans. Grissom’s
reference to the Aceves family in CSI is intended to highlight
the limited opportunities available to hirsute individuals for a public
life free from discrimination or exploitation, and it is clear that
Allison’s self-exile is largely driven by her desire to avoid such
a fate herself. The
Higonnet’s discrimination between two modes of writing about suicide differentiates sensibility from the transgressive, thus locating its Gothic strain:
Sympathetic narratives naturalise the puzzling act by attributing to it an inexorable logic of reaction to pain, political oppression, or emotional loss. Other narratives may build generically a pattern of deviance, of illogic: the suicide was irresponsible, dangerous to others, immoral, or transgressed the circuit of the socially acceptable. 20