The Demon Lover and the Feminine Experience in the Work of Shirley Jackson
One of the most prominent tropes in Shirley Jackson‘s work is that of the ‘demon lover’ who seduces a woman from her home with promises of riches and ultimately destroys her. Jackson uses the demon lover to figure a jouissance excluded by the Symbolic order, which, because of its repression, returns with a destructive force. Jackson‘s demon lover tales, including ‘The Daemon Lover’, ‘The Beautiful Stranger’, and ‘The Tooth’, narrate a womans gradual realization of her subjection to a demonic male figure whose claim on her dispossesses her of both home and self. Women in these stories are offered an impossible choice: either conform to a passive position within rigidly defined gender roles or be abjected into a permanent state of anxiety, insecurity, and even madness outside of the Symbolic order. Jackson‘s second novel Hangsaman (1951), more than any other of Jacksons works, attempts to chart a path for feminine jouissance by imagining writing as a kind of witchcraft.
Ed Cameron‘s essay offers a Lacanian interpretation of the development of the eighteenth-century Gothic novel. Tracing the movement from Horace Walpole to Ann Radcliffe and Mathew Lewis, the essay argues that the Gothic supernatural machinery figures that which is immanent yet inaccessible to the narrative structure. Reading the supernatural as a literary delimitation of the excessive enjoyment of the Lacanian symbolic order, Cameron illustrates how the different manner by which each novelist relegates his or her specific use of the supernatural corresponds to different psychoanalytically recognized psychopathological structures.
Gothic Terror(ism) and Post-Devolution Britain in Skyfall
The article examines the phenomenon of terrorism presented in Sam Mendes‘s film Skyfall (2012), with relation to Julia Kristeva‘s concept of the abject, developed further by Robert Miles in the context of nationalism and identity. While exploring the extraterritorial nature of terrorism, which in Skyfall breaches the borders of the symbolic order, threatening the integrity of the British nation-state represented by M, Bond, and MI6, the article also focuses on the relationship between the major characters, whose psychological tensions represent the country‘s haunting by the ghosts of colonialism, as Britain is forced to revisit its imperial past(s) and geographies at the fragile moment of post-devolutionary changes.
Marguerite Duras embarked on a second career as a film director in the late
1960s; by then was already a well-known and highly acclaimed novelist and
playwright. Bearing in mind this dual influence, this book presents an outline
of Duras's early life and of her later political preoccupations,
highlighting the relationship between these two dimensions and her films.
Duras's aim was to transcend the limitations of both literature and cinema
by creating an écriture filmique. Working within the 1970s French
avant-garde, Marguerite Duras set out to dismantle the mechanisms of mainstream
cinema, progressively undermining conventional representation and narrative and
replacing them with her own innovative technique. The making of Nathalie
Granger in 1972 coincided with the period of intense political activity and
lively theoretical debates, which marked the early years of the post-1968 French
feminist movement. India Song questions the categories of gender and
sexuality constructed by the patriarchal Symbolic order by foregrounding the
Imaginary. Agatha mirrors transgressive relationship and quasi-incestuous
adolescent relationship, as the film resonates with the off-screen voices of
Duras and Yann Andréa who also appears on the image-track where he represents
Agatha's anonymous brother. Her work, both in literature and in film,
distinguishes itself by its oblique, elusive quality which evokes her
protagonists' inner landscape instead of dwelling on the appearances of the
This book explores the issue of a collective representation of Ireland after the sudden death of the 'Celtic Tiger' and introduces the aesthetic idea that runs throughout. The focus is on the idea articulated by W. B. Yeats in his famous poem 'The Second Coming'. The book also explores the symbolic order and imaginative structure, the meanings and values associated with house and home, the haunted houses of Ireland's 'ghost estates' and the fiscal and moral foundations of the collective household. It examines the sophisticated financial instruments derived from mortgage-backed securities that were a lynchpin of global financialization and the epicentre of the crash, the question of the fiscal and moral foundations of the collective household of Europe. A story about fundamental values and principles of fairness and justice is discussed, in particular, the contemporary conflict that reiterates the ancient Irish mythic story of the Tain. The book suggests correspondences between Plato's Republic and the Irish republic in the deformations and devolution of democracy into tyranny. It traces a red thread from the predicament of the ancient Athenians to contemporary Ireland in terms of the need to govern pleonexia, appetites without limits. The political and economic policies and practices of Irish development, the designation of Ireland's 'tax free zones', are also discussed. Finally, the ideal type of person who has been emerging under the auspices of the neoliberal revolution is imagined.
in the 1970s, in relation to Durassian cinema they can still be seen as
valuable conceptual tools, particularly in the context of the work of the French
psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan and the adaptation of his ideas to feminist
theory. Prominent among these are the Lacanian concepts of the Imaginary and
the Symbolicorder which will be briefly explained here and which will be
used in subsequent analyses in this chapter. 1 In Lacan’s theory of human
calls that ‘langue’
ideology; Foucault calls it discourse. In Lacan, it is the symbolicorder, and it is unconscious; the speaker cannot grasp the way that one
signifier inflects the other with meaning, and how, if B means because
it is not A or C, then A and C become the unconscious of B, terms which
give it its meaning.
The third pair is the diachronic and the
the thesis of Speculum. This is that the symbolicorder functions continually to silence women and annihilate their cultural specificity. The symbolic is described in Lacanian terms on p. 99. However, Irigaray
does not limit herself to conventional psychoanalytic categories when conceptualising the symbolic. For her this is the whole cultural sphere dominated by
the Name of the Father, which finds its paramount expression in theological
and philosophical discourses. The two are fundamentally linked, for
alerted us to the disruptive potential of the repressed
feminine partner within the binary system which characterises Western culture.
There is now instability in the coupling of literature and theology, which reflects
a changing social and symbolicorder.
Religious feminists have been quick to recognise that women’s literature can
be strategically placed in opposition to the paternal authority of religious, tradition, and this creative move has been of decisive significance in the development
of feminist theology – as my readings of Christ, Ostriker, Cannon and Sands
Shakespeare’s refurbishment of Chaucer’s Troilus and Criseyde
preserved, with emphasis
upon the lovers’ ‘feelings’, and this is the
consequence of the diminution of the poem’s emphasis upon the
‘war’ itself; Criseyde’s infidelity is
a consequence of her inscription in a symbolicorder that commits her to
weakness in the face of masculine power. In Shakespeare’s version
of the story the issue is, as we shall see, a question of